Some Old Talk About Gut

Discussion in 'Strings' started by schenkelini, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. schenkelini

    schenkelini Semi-Pro

    Sep 2, 2008
    Chino. CA
    I worked in a Tennis shop back in the late 70's and early 80's. When I started wood rackets were hot as were the Head Master, Pro, Etc aluminum frames. We strung a lot of gut but mainly in the woodies. The thinking was that you could only tell the difference in a wood frame. So everyone used good old Toalson Leiona 66 in all of the metal frames. Then the Prince 110 came out along with all of the copy cats and still no gut in the metal frames. Then came the early graphites came out and still no gut, "after all you can't tell the difference". I got married and got a real job shortly after that. I have only been back to tennis for a coule of years. It's good to be back!
    I have been following the GG thread and have found it interesting that people are talking about gut in their graphite rackets like we talked about gut in our woods. I loved VS back then as much as the purests do today. By the way, it was $28 a set installed in 1979. I think that if you factor in inflation, it is cheaper today. My Bancroft Players Special only cost me $55 then, so a gut string job was half the price of a racket.
    I was thinking how I never tried gut again after I got my Head Graphite Edge. I now wish I had. It is hard to believe that I took everyone's word for it. I certainly would not do that today. I need to try some GG.
    The owner of the shop would not trust any of us kids with stringing gut. We did the nylon and he did the gut. The only time I ever got to string gut was when I did my own racket, with the understanding that if I broke it, I bought it. (the racket as well as the strings) All gut jobs used tefelon tubing in the throat area for protection. I haven't heard much discussion about that in the gut threads I have read. The shop owner was convinced that this protected the string from the sharp angles.
    I hope some of you find my rambling about the old days interesting.

  2. BarryGT

    BarryGT New User

    Jul 28, 2009
    nice story, good read thanks

    n' welcome back
  3. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

    May 3, 2004
    FT. Lauderdale, Florida

    Steve, great story and thanks for sharing. I remember when the tubing was used quite a bit in wood frames, and also frames like the T-2000. Also, the power (leather) pads were used as well. Todays frames have the plastic grommets, so not really a need like back in the day. (hahahaha). Anyway, I still do some tubing for clients when their grommets go bad.

    Anyway, glad you enjoyed the thread, and again, thanks for the story. Good stuff.
  4. jim e

    jim e Hall of Fame

    Aug 4, 2007
    I strung a lot of gut, from 60's-73, and I strung a great # of woodies back then! Victor Imperial was popular, as was Bow brand gut(came in 2-17' pieces).It typically took that amount of string to string up a woodie. The old timer that taught me to string back then, knew that I hit with Victor Imperial Gut in my Tad Davis racquet, and that was my 1st string job, all gut.We also put the ruff and smooth trim string on those racquets back then, as many here probably don't even know what that is.I also had a Sporting goods dealership back then, and prices were incredibly marked up back then, and I'm sure that the mark up is even more today. I still even have a reciept for a Bancroft ESC which was one of the 1st racquets to retail for over the $100.00 mark. The dealer price was $22.00, so that gives you an idea of the mark up. String prices were at the 50% below retail price as well.I was only 13 years old at that time, and got that dealership. Now it is near impossible to get a dealership unless you have a store front, and that leaves us home stringers at a dissadvantage, due to the mark up on the string as well as labor on the stringing that the store front stores charge.Back then since the string prices were cheap, I started out charging $10.00 labor / racquet, and eventually increased from there.
  5. Steve Huff

    Steve Huff Legend

    Feb 11, 2004
    Steve, great memories. I strung a lot of Victor Imperial. I can remember when gut frayed just pulling it out of the package. But there were other guts I liked as well. PDP made a green spiral gut that seemed to last longer. I used Snauwaert and Dunlop gut too. Some of the guts were sheep gut instead of beef gut. When Victor went bust, I tried some of the VS guts. I liked the Africord best. It was a little stiffer, plus, it came in black and red. The inexpensive gut at the time was American Eagle gut. Nice and soft once you got it in, but you really had to worry about it snapping while stringing. PDP gut had more texture than the others--I guess it was the modern "spin" string at that time.

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