Sports Authority stringing job

Discussion in 'Strings' started by dmtree, Oct 9, 2008.

  1. dmtree

    dmtree Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Messages:
    122
    I brought my second racket to Sports Authority yesterday to get strung. The other one I got done at a local tennis pro shop that costs a few dollars more. I got the racket back today - it was supposed to be strung slightly tighter than the first, but right off the bat I noticed that it's a lot looser, probably at least 5lbs less tension than the first one. I went back there and found out that they calibrate their Babolat machine once a year, at the beginning of the year. Do you think that after 10 months of stringing, the calibration can be off by that much? The stringer is an older, experienced guy and I doubt he would mess it up that much, so it's probably the machine.

    I got a full refund for the string job and my strings.. so no big loss, except some wasted time.
     
    #1
  2. bsandy

    bsandy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2004
    Messages:
    1,990
    You're assuming your pro shop was right.

    Were both constant pull machines ?

    . . .Bud
     
    #2
  3. PROTENNIS63

    PROTENNIS63 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2007
    Messages:
    2,722
    As Bud pointed out, the pro shop could have messed up just as well as any other shop or sports authority.
     
    #3
  4. tennisfreak15347

    tennisfreak15347 Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    Messages:
    2,655
    Location:
    NJ
    oh wait, they have babolat machines? oh joy! It's going to be a pleasure stringing for sports authority, :lol:
     
    #4
  5. siow_a

    siow_a Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2004
    Messages:
    313
    The pro shop can employ inexperience stringers. That being said, any stringing professional should test the machines calibration once a week. Sports Authority can go through 20-30 racquets a day. The pro shop could be even higher. Calibrating a machine doesn't take much time, so once a year makes no sense.
     
    #5
  6. Valjean

    Valjean Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Messages:
    4,729
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Same string?

    Er...same racquet I suppose, too?
     
    #6
  7. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Messages:
    2,566
    I've found that the only way to get consistency in a string job is to use the same stringer. In cases where I have to use someone else I've learned that what I get back will most likely deviate (sometimes substantially) from what I asked for. So I've learned to ask what type of machine they use, whether they prestretch, calibration, etc. Then I make my own adjustments to specified tension and hope for the best.

    Note that while accuracy is important, it is not realized in practice. Accuracy is an idealized concept that is virtually impossible to expect when humans are involved. If you use the same stringer, you are less likely to see variations in tension, quality, etc. over time. The key is consistency, not accuracy.
     
    #7
  8. region2champion

    region2champion Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2008
    Messages:
    391
    Location:
    Way behind the baseline
    I never get my raquets strung there
     
    #8
  9. dmtree

    dmtree Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Messages:
    122
    Same string, same racket.

    I tend to trust the tennis club pro shop stringer a bit more, as I think they have a lot more turnover and pretty good players, someone would've noticed if their jobs were 5 lbs tighter than ordered. Plus you can tell the tension is a lot lower than 58lbs on the SA-strung racket, it feels like 53-54lbs maybe. I can easily move the strings back and forth. The manager did say they only calibrate the machine once a year, so I think that's the culprit.
     
    #9
  10. dmtree

    dmtree Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Messages:
    122
    yes, I hear you. I've gotten it done at 3 different pro shops in town and they were all very close. Sports Authority's string jobs were both significantly off, I couldn't tell the first time because of new strings, but this time it was pretty obvious.
     
    #10
  11. thomas martinez

    thomas martinez Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    1,135
    Location:
    New York
    Nope, not all club stringers are better then a TSA. And in NJ, they do not use Babolat machines. You'll see some TF Pro Cords, and Prince 3000 or 5000 machines. I know this since i am now a SMT for TSA, and the Regional Head of Sports Services works out of the Paramus Park store, and have spoken with him at length on our machine situation in the company. Now as another poster said, you're assuming both machines are calibrated. Even if they are, different machines pull differently. For example, you take a Babolat Star 4, versus a a Prince 5000, since they pull differently, they're going to feel different. Even though they will on the calibrator pull the same. You're also forgetting different clamps will hold and grip a string differently then others, no matter how well adjusted. PLUS different stringers string differently, EVEN WHEN THEY HAVE THE EXACT SAME TRAINING! Which is why the big key as pointed out, is consistency. That;s why pros at tournaments routinely ask for the same machine and same stringer to do their rackets through the event.
     
    #11
  12. stringwalla

    stringwalla Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    Messages:
    198
    It's not easy even getting "back to back" frames to be "identical".

    The best any player can do is always request the same stringer and machine

    Good machines rarely stray off calibration, but should be checked a few times per year-
     
    #12
  13. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2007
    Messages:
    11,831
    Location:
    Marietta, Ga
    Sound like one feels tighter. Could be the first was strung too high. Maybe a few dollars invested in a string meter might help give you a point of reference.

    I have two identical rackets. I strung them both with the same string, the same tension, one after the other, and although they test and sound the same they one feels tighter than the other. Balance and weight are exactly the same. Could be the difference in the flex in the racket.

    Wish I had an answer for us.

    Irvin
     
    #13
  14. siow_a

    siow_a Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2004
    Messages:
    313
    Just because a racquet is strung at sports Authority does not necessarily mean that it is an inconsistent or bad stringing job. No I didn't work there, but know of the stringers that do. Some are good some bad. You'll find that true even in the pro shops. There are many factor involve to attain a consistent string job.

    If you want a consistent stringing job. Then you should find a shop or store that will mount your racquet(s) on the same calibrated machine(some shops have multiple ones) and strung by the same stringer(some store employ more than one ...other employ the same one).... you are more likely to get a consistant stringing job. Using different stringing machines ..spring tension, constant pull(or even their variants) can produce a different "feeling" stringbed, but not always. It should be close. That's why a lot high-end tour players have their own stringer to retain that consistent "feel"

    I don't string much anymore in the retail pro shops for many years...might be a decade or two. I have a much better daytime job now, but I still have some folks coming back to me for many years because they don't like Sports Authority or pro shops for whatever reason. I think its because I'm just a chatty person.

    There are so many variables, but my suggestion is stick to one pro shop, specify the machine and the stringer. You paid for it and any good pro shop will gladly address your needs. I would.
     
    #14
  15. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2007
    Messages:
    11,831
    Location:
    Marietta, Ga
    I hope I did not say anything bad about ANY store or stringer. If you or anyone else feels that I did I apologize. I was just saying there are many ways the feel of a racket can change.

    I agree with you that people that have their rackets strung should use the same stringer (person and machine) as much as they can. Technique can make a difference I have seen different stringers in the same store string differently. Some pull one main string at a time while others pull two.

    Irvin
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2008
    #15
  16. dmtree

    dmtree Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Messages:
    122
    i totally agree about the inconsistency, but this was just a bit too much deviation. the two string jobs from that one TSA store just feel significantly looser than what i got at the 3 pro shops around town.
     
    #16
  17. jim e

    jim e Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2007
    Messages:
    4,343
    You are correct on that, as a while back in a big box store, a stringer was double pulling all the mains and all crosses, explaining to the customer how fast and # of racquets he strings. Impressed the customer, made me sick to see that.
    I am glad I string, so I don't have to deal with that sort of thing.
    If you look at places you will find all kinds of irresponsible stringers, at another store I noticed a racquet on the machine, 1/2 the mains were in place all on one side and left that way, I never did see the stringer the 45 min. or so that I was in the store.
     
    #17
  18. siow_a

    siow_a Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2004
    Messages:
    313
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2008
    #18
  19. siow_a

    siow_a Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2004
    Messages:
    313

    No, I wasn't offended..no need to apologize. Just saying that you really have to watch them string a couple of racquets before leaving it with them. I see proshops and clubs that have stringers with little or no experience stringing racquets on the machines. I even see equipment that desperately needed cleaning, strings slipping out of clamps or over clamping because they never readjust the clamp setting based on the string gauge. They use the same setting for 15g to 18g string. Some take care not to kink their gut job but forgetting to cleaning their clamps or prestretch properly beforehand. Stringers not even wanting to replace a defective grommet hole or two for the client because it would take an extra few minutes. Or even preinspecting the racquet for cracks and defects before stringing. These are really very basic things a reputable stringer would do.

    Back on topic...like everyone else has said. Find a good stringer/machine and stay with him/her(arguablly more detailed/careful then their counterparts). As I am always reminded.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2008
    #19
  20. babolar

    babolar New User

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Sacramento,Ca
    yeah ive heard stories of local pro shops
    completely screwing up racquets.
    luckily i string my own racquets
    Like everyone else said stick to one stringer you are satisfied with and produces consistent results.
     
    #20
  21. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2007
    Messages:
    11,831
    Location:
    Marietta, Ga
    I have been stringing for a while and always start as though I am going to string a racket with one piece stringing. I keep the long side on the right side of the racket. I first string one main on the long side, pull tension on that one main, and run the rest of the mains on the long side with no tension just to get the string up off the floor with enough slack to pull tension later. Then alternate pulling two mains on the short side and two on the right (long side) until all the mains are done. If I am going to use two piece stringing I cut the cross strings off and start the crosses in the first cross hole below the outside main going over the first main to begin. Then run the crosses up to the top and tie them off. Pull tension on those one or two crosses one at a time except for the bottom cross just below the outside main. Then I weave the crosses one ahead and pull tension on one cross at a time. Now everyone won't be stringing in this manner and I don't feel it is a only correct way to work but it is ALWAYS the same. If I ran a store with multiple stringers it is my way or the highway. Right down to how I tie the knots. Sorry guys but I am a stickler for procedure. The more you keep the procedure the same the more predictable the result will be.

    Irvin
     
    #21
  22. Daycrawler

    Daycrawler Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    365
    Yet another reason to string yourself lol
     
    #22
  23. dmtree

    dmtree Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Messages:
    122
    i need to find a cheap local stringer, the nearby tennis club and the Denver tennis center both do a great job, but i just can't swing $18 per string job every 2 weeks, not counting the cost of strings.

    or maybe invest in a stringing machine, but that'll probably have to wait till spring.
     
    #23
  24. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2007
    Messages:
    11,831
    Location:
    Marietta, Ga
    Wow most shops around me charge $10 or $12 to string your strings even SA. BUT if you take your string to someone to have your racket strung and the string breaks for any reason you may just end up with a broken set of strings.

    If you break strings every two weeks and pay $18 to have it strung you can't afford to wait until spring to buy a stringer. At $9 a week you are spending $450 a year for stringing. If you can string for a few friends and string 2 rackets a week for $12 you will also bring in another $1250 a year. That is $1,700 a year and I am not counting the gas you spend making two trips to the stringer every time you want a racket strung.

    Irvin
     
    #24
  25. dmtree

    dmtree Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Messages:
    122
    TSA charges $12 here. Pro shops are $18+. Since I can't use really the racket i got done at TSA (strings are way too loose), I probably won't be stringing there anymore. Since I won't be playing that much over the winter, I'll wait until spring to get a machine, but it makes sense.. Thanks for the breakdown, btw.
     
    #25
  26. Shin

    Shin New User

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Shanghai clay
    SA stringing is a joke over here. I walk in and ask for the stringer and the cashier up front tells me the stringer has went home for the day-this is at noon on a Monday and the store opens at 9AM so really, he only works 3 hours a day. No wonder why their always backed up and have a one week turnaround time.
     
    #26
  27. LawnChairGeneral

    LawnChairGeneral Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2008
    Messages:
    160
    once upon a time i took my stick to TSA, mentioned that i'd like it strung at XX tension. the high school kid looked at me and said, "what do you mean by tension?"

    after shaking my head in amazement, i politely said "nevermind", gathered my belongings, and left the store.
     
    #27
  28. Mansewerz

    Mansewerz Legend

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Messages:
    9,164
    Location:
    Caught in No Man's Land
    will sports authority hire someone without MRT certification? If so, I may have a summer job next summer!
     
    #28
  29. aznfatmonkey

    aznfatmonkey Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Messages:
    121
    Don't go to Sports Authority for strings

    Lol. I went to sports authority once and they broke my racquet. They wouldn't do anything about it.
     
    #29
  30. Aerial

    Aerial New User

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2006
    Messages:
    86
    Depends on the store manager. I would say yes. So long as you demonstrate your ability to push out 20-30 racquets a day with ease.
     
    #30
  31. samster

    samster Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2005
    Messages:
    5,017
    I string my own rackets. If something is off, then I know who is at fault. ;)
     
    #31
  32. game set match 46 TIMES!!

    game set match 46 TIMES!! Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2008
    Messages:
    1,808
    Location:
    Reporting the score as two bagels!!
    just dont buy there strings wilson stamina is 20$ there and psgd in 25$...and thats on sale!
     
    #32
  33. lob-ster

    lob-ster Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    Messages:
    117
    Location:
    Somewhere in California
    that's probably with labor
     
    #33
  34. game set match 46 TIMES!!

    game set match 46 TIMES!! Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2008
    Messages:
    1,808
    Location:
    Reporting the score as two bagels!!
    nope its not i asked there string jobs are 18$...
     
    #34

Share This Page