Strings and Different Levels of Players

mcnjr

New User
Starting a stringing business. Some of the people I will be stringing for know what kind of string they want, others don’t. I would assume majority of people just use synthetic guy up to the 4.0 level. Thought on good types of synthetic gut or any other thought on strings altogether. Also, at what point should a player think about going to a co-poly string, like an rpm blast.
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
It may be just me but I wouldn't do it that way. I would choose reels of very good quality cheaper strings in each category (Synthetic Gut, Multi, Round Poly) and then have on a few packets of name brand strings (NXT, 4G, ALU, RPM Blast, etc.). Especially given you are not buying the string wholesale. Then adjust as you go. If you string for someone who has a preference then add it to your inventory. The only exception I have seen are good tournament kids. They get specific about what they want so if you have a few of these you string for then stock that (I have added 4G and Hyper G for specific kids).

You are offering a service by stocking very nice string and most recreational adult players don't really care about the brand. If they do you will have packets and can restock those as used.

For me I have reels of:

Synthetic Gut: Gosen OGSM
Multi: Prince Premier Control
Round Poly: Weiss Cannon Silverstring (I also stock Tourna Big Hitter Silver for those that like it as a cheap cross)

I have packets of a bunch of other stuff including: RPM Blast 16G, Wilson NXT 16G, Wilson Revolve....
 

fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
I should figure out how to set up links to the small novels I've already posted here in terms of my healthy and numerous opinions on synthetic guts...

Short response: I think this string is ideal for a LOT of recreational players. Forten Sweet is probably the softest syn. gut (SG) you'll find and most others are rather middle-of-the-road in terms of firmness. Those include Prince Original SG, Volkl Classic SG - I was loving Kirschbaum's standard SG, but that string seems to have disappeared. TW also stopped selling Tecnifibre SG - my personal favorite - but I found it somewhere else.

Gosen OGSM is a decent string - firmer than some, but solid and rather durable. I love this SG as a cross for basic poly hybrids I do for a few locals. I definitely recommend keeping both 16 and 17 ga. options of SG on hand.

Prince SG with Duraflex and Gamma WearGuard are pretty stiff. I'm not wild about them, but the Prince w/Duraflex is popular in some circles probably because it's a little more durable.

I have reels of cheap poly - Isospeed Baseline in all four gauges available at TW. The lightest gauge - 1.20mm - is great for lots of folks who want to try a poly hybrid, but aren't quite murdering the ball like Div I college killers. When combined with the Gosen OGSM as a cross at reasonable tension, it's only mildly more firm than a full bed of snug syn. gut. The 1.25mm is also very useful for heavier hitters.

I keep a reel of Prince Premier Control 16 (PPC) for when I need to restring with a multifiber and I also have a few individual packs of this and that, but I don't use multis all that much. The PPC does fine and it's a good deal more affordable by the reel than premiums like Wilson NXT or Tecnifibre X-One Biphase.

I'm rather comfortable with my opinion that RPM Blast is overpriced garbage. It's expensive, it goes dead very quickly, and it has wrecked the arms of several local players of all levels through recent years. A few young sluggers ditched their RPM after trying the Isospeed in the same gauge and it didn't wail on their arms to the same degree as the Babolat.

When stronger players are chewing through SG rather quickly, that might be when we consider a poly hybrid. But before making that jump, I talk over the upside and downside of polys so that these folks can make informed decisions.

So I have a basic stock on hand to cover my bases. If somebody has a favorite string, I encourage them to buy their own sets or reels and just pay me to install it. That's usually easier for everybody - saves me from investing in strings that may or may not get used.
 

mcnjr

New User
I should figure out how to set up links to the small novels I've already posted here in terms of my healthy and numerous opinions on synthetic guts...

Short response: I think this string is ideal for a LOT of recreational players. Forten Sweet is probably the softest syn. gut (SG) you'll find and most others are rather middle-of-the-road in terms of firmness. Those include Prince Original SG, Volkl Classic SG - I was loving Kirschbaum's standard SG, but that string seems to have disappeared. TW also stopped selling Tecnifibre SG - my personal favorite - but I found it somewhere else.

Gosen OGSM is a decent string - firmer than some, but solid and rather durable. I love this SG as a cross for basic poly hybrids I do for a few locals. I definitely recommend keeping both 16 and 17 ga. options of SG on hand.

Prince SG with Duraflex and Gamma WearGuard are pretty stiff. I'm not wild about them, but the Prince w/Duraflex is popular in some circles probably because it's a little more durable.

I have reels of cheap poly - Isospeed Baseline in all four gauges available at TW. The lightest gauge - 1.20mm - is great for lots of folks who want to try a poly hybrid, but aren't quite murdering the ball like Div I college killers. When combined with the Gosen OGSM as a cross at reasonable tension, it's only mildly more firm than a full bed of snug syn. gut. The 1.25mm is also very useful for heavier hitters.

I keep a reel of Prince Premier Control 16 (PPC) for when I need to restring with a multifiber and I also have a few individual packs of this and that, but I don't use multis all that much. The PPC does fine and it's a good deal more affordable by the reel than premiums like Wilson NXT or Tecnifibre X-One Biphase.

I'm rather comfortable with my opinion that RPM Blast is overpriced garbage. It's expensive, it goes dead very quickly, and it has wrecked the arms of several local players of all levels through recent years. A few young sluggers ditched their RPM after trying the Isospeed in the same gauge and it didn't wail on their arms to the same degree as the Babolat.

When stronger players are chewing through SG rather quickly, that might be when we consider a poly hybrid. But before making that jump, I talk over the upside and downside of polys so that these folks can make informed decisions.

So I have a basic stock on hand to cover my bases. If somebody has a favorite string, I encourage them to buy their own sets or reels and just pay me to install it. That's usually easier for everybody - saves me from investing in strings that may or may not get used.

For like a 2.5-3.0 player you would just recommend a soft synthetic gut? When would you suggest stringing a hybrid or a firmer string for someone?


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fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
For like a 2.5-3.0 player you would just recommend a soft synthetic gut? When would you suggest stringing a hybrid or a firmer string for someone?


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Yes, a 2.5-3.0 is most likely going to get decent performance from a syn. gut or maybe a multifiber (if arm comfort is a top priority). I just re-strung for a lady I teach - she has a Radical mp with an 18x20 pattern and her level is 3.0 evolving toward 3.5. The knucklehead who last strung it for her gave her what looked like a full bed of... wait for it... RPM Blast.

I swapped in a full setup of 17 ga. syn. gut for her and that's working great so far. Dense patterns seem to work better with lighter gauges of string, at least in my experience.

If an aspiring slugger is popping 16 ga. syn. gut perhaps every 2-3 weeks or less, then it might be worth a try with a poly hybrid. That's where I use a light gauge poly main combined with a syn. gut (or occasionally a multi) cross and tension that just a little lower than what I'd tension a full bed of 16 ga. syn. gut in that frame for that specific player. The hybrid can work fine tensioned in the low 50's or high 40's, but probably never tighter than 55 or 56 lbs.

I'm generally rather leery of polys, but this hybrid with the 1.20mm poly mains has been no trouble for any of the kids or adults (my "clients") who have used it. The lighter gauge may generally "go dead" more quickly than a heavier alternative, but that seems to be much less drastic when the skinny poly is paired with a cross that retains more resilience.

In any case where somebody has recently had wrist, elbow, or shoulder issues, I try to convince them to stay away from the polys.
 

Injured Again

Hall of Fame
Unless you're one of the few stringers available in your area, you might want to think about what distinguishes you from the next stringer. If it's about price, that's a tough road to go down because you want to make a decent amount for your efforts and if you try to undercut other independent strings, your margins are going to be pretty thin, maybe too thin to afford to get a strong inventory of string without being underwater for some pretty long time.

I do string for a few people and fairly constantly turn away others because unless I'm doing the exact same string and tension that they've already used (and I'll first want to see a freshly strung racquet to gauge how accurate my stringer's tension mechanism is against the one previously used to string their racquet), I won't recommend any changes without looking at them play. If I make a recommendation for a fairly large change in material or tension, I'll do that first job at a much discounted rated and then spend time with them to ask questions about how it has performed and what they did and did not like about it.

Going down this path means you also have to have either progressed through or be familiar enough with the playing characteristics of the strings you're using, and have progressed through or become familiar with the challenges facing players of the various skill levels you will be stringing for.

Just some random thoughts that you can take or leave. Many of your questions are about strings and tensions, but being a stringer that people come to rely on is a multi-faceted job where strings and tensions are among the easiest of things to learn about.
 

Jouke

Professional
I have never had anyone ask for syn gut.
Almost all the people I did syngut or multinfor hated it. Even cost me some customers (despite me telling them they can come back for a warranty if they dont like it) . Weirdly enough everyone I strung poly for likes it. No matter what crap poly I put on there... almost no one appreciates the more expensive poly, they all want it cheap here..
 

Injured Again

Hall of Fame
I have never had anyone ask for syn gut.
Almost all the people I did syngut or multinfor hated it. Even cost me some customers (despite me telling them they can come back for a warranty if they dont like it) . Weirdly enough everyone I strung poly for likes it. No matter what crap poly I put on there... almost no one appreciates the more expensive poly, they all want it cheap here..

That is the case almost 100% of the time, but there are still players that would benefit from it. I think there's also some truth to the statement that modern racquets are designed in part to work well with poly strings, and that its likely a large percentage of R&D playtesting will involve those strings.

You've got to have a pretty dedicated and high level player to appreciate a higher end poly. Most people who play with poly strings don't cut them out or break them, so they play with them after they've become "dead". So it is really the characteristics of the string when dead that determine how much people will like them. And some poly strings just age better and retain more consistency than others, or at least don't become unpleasant with time.
 

Jouke

Professional
That is the case almost 100% of the time, but there are still players that would benefit from it. I think there's also some truth to the statement that modern racquets are designed in part to work well with poly strings, and that its likely a large percentage of R&D playtesting will involve those strings.

You've got to have a pretty dedicated and high level player to appreciate a higher end poly. Most people who play with poly strings don't cut them out or break them, so they play with them after they've become "dead". So it is really the characteristics of the string when dead that determine how much people will like them. And some poly strings just age better and retain more consistency than others, or at least don't become unpleasant with time.
You are spot on! I even had people say they didnt like a certain poly string because it broke 'too fast'. It broke around the 12 hour mark, on clay. After telling her that this is perfectly normal and that the string is dead after anyway she gave me a weird look and moved back to her old stringer.. :S

All my clients want is cheap, and long playability. I dont have any clients that cut out their strings. They all play untill the strings are broken. Even good ranked guys..
 
You really can’t go wrong with the prince duraflex: good performance and a myriad of color options. I’d also stock some quality multi’s, that’s what I’ve seen the majority of sub 4.5’s using at my club. Technifibre, Babolat, and Wilson seem to be the most popular. I don’t think you could go wrong with reels of:

Technifibre multifeel - it’s a logical step up in comfort and power from syngut at an attractive price point. Same coating as NRG and X-one.

Wilson NXT - One of the most popular, definitely the most at my club. I’ve never used it, but it seems to be the best fit for the largest number of people.

Babolat Xcel - very comfortable and control oriented multi. Babolat users seem to love it, probably because of the muted response. Anything to dampen those elbow killers lol.

For poly it just depends on what you want to offer. Outside of the standard Luxilon suite is also stock Babolat pro hurricane and pro hurricane tour for the shaped poly crowd and Nadal disciples. Most poly players will bring their own reel though, so I wouldn’t worry too much about stocking niche brands.

I’d also definitely stock natural gut and try to get as many customers as possible to at least try a full bed once. It’s the best string for 99% of players and actually saves them money with the lower frequency of stringing. Maybe stock some tonic+ or whatever you can find on sale to bring the price point down from $40 to $30 and make it more attractive.

Best of luck!


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mcnjr

New User
You really can’t go wrong with the prince duraflex: good performance and a myriad of color options. I’d also stock some quality multi’s, that’s what I’ve seen the majority of sub 4.5’s using at my club. Technifibre, Babolat, and Wilson seem to be the most popular. I don’t think you could go wrong with reels of:

Technifibre multifeel - it’s a logical step up in comfort and power from syngut at an attractive price point. Same coating as NRG and X-one.

Wilson NXT - One of the most popular, definitely the most at my club. I’ve never used it, but it seems to be the best fit for the largest number of people.

Babolat Xcel - very comfortable and control oriented multi. Babolat users seem to love it, probably because of the muted response. Anything to dampen those elbow killers lol.

For poly it just depends on what you want to offer. Outside of the standard Luxilon suite is also stock Babolat pro hurricane and pro hurricane tour for the shaped poly crowd and Nadal disciples. Most poly players will bring their own reel though, so I wouldn’t worry too much about stocking niche brands.

I’d also definitely stock natural gut and try to get as many customers as possible to at least try a full bed once. It’s the best string for 99% of players and actually saves them money with the lower frequency of stringing. Maybe stock some tonic+ or whatever you can find on sale to bring the price point down from $40 to $30 and make it more attractive.

Best of luck!


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Thoughts on synthetic gut vs multifilament?


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You are spot on! I even had people say they didnt like a certain poly string because it broke 'too fast'. It broke around the 12 hour mark, on clay. After telling her that this is perfectly normal and that the string is dead after anyway she gave me a weird look and moved back to her old stringer.. :S

All my clients want is cheap, and long playability. I dont have any clients that cut out their strings. They all play untill the strings are broken. Even good ranked guys..

In that case I’d DEFINITELY recommend gut and sell the fact that it loses tension much slower and generally lasts much longer. If it’s taking that long to break a poly then that generally means the player doesn’t have the racquet head speed to get the benefits.

Technifibre makes a good string called HDX tour, it’s a multi with polyester fibers woven in. It’s a great string for players who insist on using a poly but also want to keep it in until it breaks. Isospeed cream is another great co-poly for players who don’t cut them out. Very soft and maintains playability for well over three weeks for non string breakers.


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Thoughts on synthetic gut vs multifilament?


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I’m more partial to multi just from the logic that once a player learns the fundamentals and starts to play competitively, more power + more comfort = more fun/better results.


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LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
Keep records of your string jobs!! Nobody - well, almost nobody - will remember what you did last time.

I agree 100%. I have a log book on my bench. Also, I saw the post about the sticker on the Racquet and I used to do that. I think a better approach is RacquetTune. I load all the customers and their racquets in the app. After I restring I confirm tension and then I text or e-mail them the results. Let's say I am at the club and they hand me a racquet to restring I pull up the text and say "I see I restrung your racquet last time at such and such a tension with such and such string... Do you still want that?".... That seems to work pretty well.
 

fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
You are spot on! I even had people say they didnt like a certain poly string because it broke 'too fast'. It broke around the 12 hour mark, on clay. After telling her that this is perfectly normal and that the string is dead after anyway she gave me a weird look and moved back to her old stringer.. :S

All my clients want is cheap, and long playability. I dont have any clients that cut out their strings. They all play untill the strings are broken. Even good ranked guys..

Yep - too funny. SOOOO many folks just want stuff that doesn't move and lasts a long time.
 

fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
Thoughts on synthetic gut vs multifilament?


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I don't disagree with our pal One Handed Dynasty. When I talk up synthetic gut instead over multifiber, I'm talking about my own experiences with it. Multi usually degrades as I use it - when I say "degrade", that means it steadily and progressively softens up on me to the point that it's too soft for me to play with any confidence and I cut it out before it snaps. If I try to compensate and raise the initial tension a little bit, that's no good because then it starts out too harsh and I use multi for its softness.

I get moderate softness with syn. gut - my favorite is Tecnifibre, but I sometimes enjoy super-cheap Forten nylon. After its initial tension drop over the first day or two, this stuff pretty much holds steady for me for a while. And even if it also needs replacing on a semi-regular basis, it's a heckuva lot more affordable than the premium multifibers.

One syn. gut that I mentioned, Forten Sweet, is especially soft. So soft that I think it can work as an affordable alternative to a more expensive multi. If you try any of this string, just keep in mind that the 17 ga. version (Sweet 17) is rather fragile string. I'd only recommend it for a racquet with a dense string pattern.

Sometimes folks here talk about making a jump from multifiber all the way over to a poly or poly hybrid string bed without considering a syn. gut along the way. I'm usually happy to make a case for syn. gut just because it usually offers so much bang for our buck compared with both the premium multis and some popular polys.
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
You really can’t go wrong with the prince duraflex: good performance and a myriad of color options. I’d also stock some quality multi’s, that’s what I’ve seen the majority of sub 4.5’s using at my club. Technifibre, Babolat, and Wilson seem to be the most popular. I don’t think you could go wrong with reels of:

Technifibre multifeel - it’s a logical step up in comfort and power from syngut at an attractive price point. Same coating as NRG and X-one.

Wilson NXT - One of the most popular, definitely the most at my club. I’ve never used it, but it seems to be the best fit for the largest number of people.

Babolat Xcel - very comfortable and control oriented multi. Babolat users seem to love it, probably because of the muted response. Anything to dampen those elbow killers lol.

For poly it just depends on what you want to offer. Outside of the standard Luxilon suite is also stock Babolat pro hurricane and pro hurricane tour for the shaped poly crowd and Nadal disciples. Most poly players will bring their own reel though, so I wouldn’t worry too much about stocking niche brands.

I’d also definitely stock natural gut and try to get as many customers as possible to at least try a full bed once. It’s the best string for 99% of players and actually saves them money with the lower frequency of stringing. Maybe stock some tonic+ or whatever you can find on sale to bring the price point down from $40 to $30 and make it more attractive.

Best of luck!


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My question with this is if I am at a club already and they offer stringing services and the club gets their Wilson/Babolat string at a discount because they sell Wilson/Babolat clothing (as most clubs do) why would I not just have my club string my racquets for less vs. going to the original poster of this thread? After all I am already there playing. The original poster is not going to be able to offer Wison/Babolat string and natural gut for less than the cub is offering. To differentiate he will need to offer lesser known but perhaps better strings in addition to other services. Someone in this thread suggested having the players supply their own string if they want name brand Wilson/babolat and that sounds to me like a better approach vs. spending the money to have it stocked and sit there.

I also don't see typical rec players paying for natural gut (even Tonic) so stocking that and trying to push it at $45 (minimum) a restring I think is going to be a tough sell. Don't get me wrong I play with a gut hybrid (because proceeds from my stringing allow me to buy it) and have one other strong 4.5 who developed arm issues from 4G who does as well but natural gut rec players are not the norm.

Yes, gut plays well and has great durability but I don't think the typical rec player is going to spend the money for it.

Duraflex is also debatable. I have had a reel now for 2 years and have 3/4 of it left. I get an occasional request for it but most do not find it performs well and there are better options out there one of which is Prince original synthetic gut itself.

That is just my experience with all this but I am sure there are a lot of opinions on this topic.
 

McLovin

Legend
In that case I’d DEFINITELY recommend gut and sell the fact that it loses tension much slower and generally lasts much longer. If it’s taking that long to break a poly then that generally means the player doesn’t have the racquet head speed to get the benefits.
This. I string for a bunch of 3.0/3.5 ladies that my wife plays with, and many of them use full natural gut on my recommendation. They're not breaking strings, which means they can (and do) go for almost 2 years before they have me restring it. Sure, its bad for business on my side, but netter for them in the end, and they ultimately end up recommending me to their friends.
My question with this is if I am at a club already and they offer stringing services and the club gets their Wilson/Babolat string at a discount because they sell Wilson/Babolat clothing (as most clubs do) why would I not just have my club string my racquets for less vs. going to the original poster of this thread? After all I am already there playing. The original poster is not going to be able to offer Wison/Babolat string and natural gut for less than the cub is offering.
Because most, if not all, clubs mark up their strings back up to MSRP. If they don't, they're not making much money as they likely pay the stringer $10-15 per racquet.

Besides, a smart stringer will know either (a) where on the web to get deals on the good stuff, or (b) have a contact that can get them deals on the good stuff. For example, I can string the aforementioned ladies racquets using full Babolat VS gut, and charge them $45. How? Because I know where to get Babolat gut for ~ $28 per pack. Good luck finding a local club that will string full Babolat gut for under $60.
 

McLovin

Legend
Also, I'll add that most clubs will take 5-7 days to turn around a frame, unless you pay an extra upcharge for 'rush services'. I, on the other hand, can normally turn a frame around in 24 hours, and don't charge extra.

Of course, I have the luxury of not taking in 20-30 frames a week. Sure, I can get swamped once in a while (its really feast or famine...more on that later), but for the most part, during my busiest moments I'll have 4-5 frames at once.

On the feast-famine thing, my theory is this: Many of the ladies I string for don't think about having their racquets restrung. So, what normally happens is one lady might break a string (normally on a mishit). The other ladies on her court see this, and immediately think "oh, I should probably get mine restrung", which triggers a word-of-mouth chain reaction across all the courts. Next thing I know, I've got 5 or 6 text messages asking if they can drop off their racquets.

So, to the OP: To distinguish yourself from the local club, I'd definitely recommend getting frames turned around as quickly as possible. Even if they say "I don't need it until next week", if you have the time, do it right away and notify them. Word will get around that you're really quick, and that is greatly appreciated by players.
 

n8dawg6

Legend
On the feast-famine thing, my theory is this: Many of the ladies I string for don't think about having their racquets restrung. So, what normally happens is one lady might break a string (normally on a mishit). The other ladies on her court see this, and immediately think "oh, I should probably get mine restrung", which triggers a word-of-mouth chain reaction across all the courts.
a true crisis. how do they deal with the trauma??
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
This. I string for a bunch of 3.0/3.5 ladies that my wife plays with, and many of them use full natural gut on my recommendation. They're not breaking strings, which means they can (and do) go for almost 2 years before they have me restring it. Sure, its bad for business on my side, but netter for them in the end, and they ultimately end up recommending me to their friends.

Because most, if not all, clubs mark up their strings back up to MSRP. If they don't, they're not making much money as they likely pay the stringer $10-15 per racquet.

Besides, a smart stringer will know either (a) where on the web to get deals on the good stuff, or (b) have a contact that can get them deals on the good stuff. For example, I can string the aforementioned ladies racquets using full Babolat VS gut, and charge them $45. How? Because I know where to get Babolat gut for ~ $28 per pack. Good luck finding a local club that will string full Babolat gut for under $60.

Sure so you have found a way to differentiate yourself in selling gut. I have not heard that the original poster has such a source nor that you are willing to share yours. Moreover, I still question that most recreational players are going to pay $45 a restring. Perhaps the your customers can afford to do that in a volume that makes it a viable option for you. I can tell you I have not seen that. I am not saying not to stock gut by the way but I certainly question if it will be at a volume. If the poster does then by all mean purchase 12 sets and I would be curious to see how many sets he restrings in 6 months that are not in his own racquet.

Related to TAT clubs/shops in our area vary from 2 hour to 2 day TAT so yes that can be a way to differentiate the services provided.
 

McLovin

Legend
Sure so you have found a way to differentiate yourself in selling gut. I have not heard that the original poster has such a source nor that you are willing to share yours. Moreover, I still question that most recreational players are going to pay $45 a restring. Perhaps the your customers can afford to do that in a volume that makes it a viable option for you. I can tell you I have not seen that. I am not saying not to stock gut by the way but I certainly question if it will be at a volume. If the poster does then by all mean purchase 12 sets and I would be curious to see how many sets he restrings in 6 months that are not in his own racquet.
Well, Natural Gut was just an example. I can get other name-brand strings as well at discounted prices. And as far as sharing my source...out of respect for TW I'm not going to here. But honestly, it really is just a Google search away.

And I will also say that I get strings from TW, mainly when they're running sales (e.g., Christmas Luxilon Gut sale).

As far as $45 for a restring...I don't know what your local club charges, but mine charges around $38 for your basic Babolat Xcel, and we're not even in the expensive part of the DC region. When explained to them in the manner of "this string will last you 2 years, and the other will last maybe 8-10 months", then most see the cost benefit.

But yes, stocking lots of Gut is expensive, which is why I normally only have 3-4 sets handy.
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
Yes, I am saving for the upcoming Christmas sales on gut as well and I bought the Lux when it was on sale last year and the recent Babolat anniversary gut sale as well.

So getting back to the original post. Just starting out is it really wise to invest and stock up on gut in the hope he can find folks to want it at $45 or perhaps is it better to grow into that later understanding that the more frequent requests will be someone who isn't sure what they have (or want) and just want a multi or hybrid?

What worked for me was research this forum (and others) and learn from others and select sets of really nice Synthetic Gut, Multi, round poly to test and then get reels of it. This allowed me to cover most of the requests (including hybrids) and then grow the business. I can string a hybrid of PPC and WC Silver off my reels for $20 which is a nice affordable setup for the typical rec player and is generating repeat business. There may be better options for initial reels than what I purchased/proposed but in general that approach worked best for me.

I would then differentiate on price, TAT (and/or drop off/pick up while running an errand), other services and then little by little add to inventory based on what requests are coming in. In the mean time I would have sets of the typical name brand strings including a few of gut and backfill as used.

As time has gone on I would purchase reels to replace some of the sets I used to purchase based on the volume of requests and add to the inventory of gut as well.
 
My question with this is if I am at a club already and they offer stringing services and the club gets their Wilson/Babolat string at a discount because they sell Wilson/Babolat clothing (as most clubs do) why would I not just have my club string my racquets for less vs. going to the original poster of this thread? After all I am already there playing. The original poster is not going to be able to offer Wison/Babolat string and natural gut for less than the cub is offering. To differentiate he will need to offer lesser known but perhaps better strings in addition to other services. Someone in this thread suggested having the players supply their own string if they want name brand Wilson/babolat and that sounds to me like a better approach vs. spending the money to have it stocked and sit there.

I also don't see typical rec players paying for natural gut (even Tonic) so stocking that and trying to push it at $45 (minimum) a restring I think is going to be a tough sell. Don't get me wrong I play with a gut hybrid (because proceeds from my stringing allow me to buy it) and have one other strong 4.5 who developed arm issues from 4G who does as well but natural gut rec players are not the norm.

Yes, gut plays well and has great durability but I don't think the typical rec player is going to spend the money for it.

Duraflex is also debatable. I have had a reel now for 2 years and have 3/4 of it left. I get an occasional request for it but most do not find it performs well and there are better options out there one of which is Prince original synthetic gut itself.

That is just my experience with all this but I am sure there are a lot of opinions on this topic.

If that’s the situation then it would definitely change some of my recommendations. Most clubs have a stringer that they outsource to, but even if it’s a teaching pro they will definitely be upcharging so that the cost is above MSRP. The last time I got my racquet strung at my CC it was $75 for a full bed of Lux gut plus stringing. I think there’s a universal market for reasonably priced stringing, the more difficult part will be possible club resistance in marketing it as he is essentially undercutting a revenue stream.

Assuming the OP wants to have some sort of an order form with a limited selection, plus a customer provided option, I think he’ll want to have at least a few recognizable name brands. That pretty much mandates having one of the Wilson NXT variations on there, plus a Babolat multi like Xcel. If he buys reels and sells at set prices then he can still make a healthy profit once labor is added in. He could go the alternate route, but could risk chasing a lot of club players away by the lack of familiarity. I think if I asked the majority of 50-60 year old men at my club if they wanted to try X-one Biphase they would file a police report lol. That’s just my experience and I live in an abnormally homogeneous and conservative area though, so it might be completely different for everyone else.

I have to respectfully disagree with you on natural gut. Like another poster said, it lasts club level women months to a year before needing a restring. It also gives IMO the best performance for any sub 5.0 level player, and is more economical than restringing poly every two weeks. If you’re not hitting 60mph+ ground strokes then poly isn’t going to have a positive impact.


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LOBALOT

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If that’s the situation then it would definitely change some of my recommendations. Most clubs have a stringer that they outsource to, but even if it’s a teaching pro they will definitely be upcharging so that the cost is above MSRP. The last time I got my racquet strung at my CC it was $75 for a full bed of Lux gut plus stringing. I think there’s a universal market for reasonably priced stringing, the more difficult part will be possible club resistance in marketing it as he is essentially undercutting a revenue stream.

Assuming the OP wants to have some sort of an order form with a limited selection, plus a customer provided option, I think he’ll want to have at least a few recognizable name brands. That pretty much mandates having one of the Wilson NXT variations on there, plus a Babolat multi like Xcel. If he buys reels and sells at set prices then he can still make a healthy profit once labor is added in. He could go the alternate route, but could risk chasing a lot of club players away by the lack of familiarity. I think if I asked the majority of 50-60 year old men at my club if they wanted to try X-one Biphase they would file a police report lol. That’s just my experience and I live in an abnormally homogeneous and conservative area though, so it might be completely different for everyone else.

I have to respectfully disagree with you on natural gut. Like another poster said, it lasts club level women months to a year before needing a restring. It also gives IMO the best performance for any sub 5.0 level player, and is more economical than restringing poly every two weeks. If you’re not hitting 60mph+ ground strokes then poly isn’t going to have a positive impact.


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Thank you that was well put.

Yes as I indicated on the second post in this thread I would have sets of the name brand string for those that specified it and then I would backfill as used. Just starting out I would certainly not purchase reels of expensive string like NXT or Xcel in the hope I picked right only to find I hadn't.

I am not sure where Biphase entered the picture but that certainly would not be something I would focus on at the get-go.

What if he bought a reel of Xcel as you indicated and someone wanted Addiction? It is the same manufacturer different string. Why not cover your bases and have a few sets of both Addiction and Xcel and not invest so heavily in an expensive reel of Xcel at $283?

I think inventory is like a zone defense? Or a box-and-one to borrow from Basketball...

Purchase a few sets of each of the name brand multis to cover specific requests coming in from the corners (NXT, NXT Control, Xcel, Addiction, etc.) and then whatever you feel you need for the big man in the Center to defend the basket against the more common unspecified requests with a reel of say Wilson Sensation if that is what the poster determined was his best performance-for-the-price multi.

For Poly the same thing.... Maybe a Reel of Signum Pro Poly Plasma and then sets of ALU, 4G, RPM, Hyper G, Cyclone, Head Hawk, etc....

And yes a few sets of gut!!!!

Really, I think we have given the original poster of this question enough to think about.
 
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Thank you that was well put.

Yes as I indicated on the second post in this thread I would have sets of the name brand string for those that specified it and then I would backfill as used. Just starting out I would certainly not purchase reels of expensive string like NXT or Xcel in the hope I picked right only to find I hadn't.

I am not sure where Biphase entered the picture but that certainly would not be something I would focus on at the get-go.

What if he bought a reel of Xcel as you indicated and someone wanted Addiction? It is the same manufacturer different string. Why not cover your bases and have a few sets of both Addiction and Xcel and not invest so heavily in an expensive reel of Xcel at $283?

I think inventory is like a zone defense? Or a box-and-one to borrow from Basketball...

Purchase a few sets of each of the name brand multis to cover specific requests coming in from the corners (NXT, NXT Control, Xcel, Addiction, etc.) and then whatever you feel you need for the big man in the Center to defend the basket against the more common unspecified requests with a reel of say Wilson Sensation if that is what the poster determined was his best performance-for-the-price multi.

For Poly the same thing.... Maybe a Reel of Signum Pro Poly Plasma and then sets of ALU, 4G, RPM, Hyper G, Cyclone, Head Hawk, etc....

And yes a few sets of gut!!!!

Really, I think we have given the original poster of this question enough to think about.

I like the sets idea, that’s definitely a good low risk way to gauge demand. I was just using Biphase as an example of most club players not knowing enough about strings to recognize brands outside of Wilson/Babolat/head/prince.

Agreed, definitely more than enough to think about.


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LOBALOT

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I like the sets idea, that’s definitely a good low risk way to gauge demand. I was just using Biphase as an example of most club players not knowing enough about strings to recognize brands outside of Wilson/Babolat/head/prince.

Agreed, definitely more than enough to think about.


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Thank you for all your help!

I am actually enjoying gut/cream at 58/50 and do think everyone should give gut a try at least one time. For an older player and a non-string breaker like me it does last forever and it feels fantastic and I get a ton of spin out of it.
 
Thank you for all your help!

I am actually enjoying gut/cream at 58/50 and do think everyone should give gut a try at least one time. For an older player and a non-string breaker like me it does last forever and it feels fantastic and I get a ton of spin out of it.

That’s interesting, what racquet do you hit with? I tried cream at 50/47 with VS touch mains and cream crosses in a pro staff 90 as a softer alternative to ALU rough and actually got some elbow discomfort after not experiencing any with ALU. I tried the same setup in an RF97 and liked it a lot.

If you want to try something new and crazy good, my all time favorite is pacific prime gut mains with 4g soft crosses. Prime gut is more elastic/less stiff than VS by a good margin, so the dynamic stiffness of the bed is less than VS touch/ALU rough while the 4g soft crosses have lower string to string friction and higher string to ball friction than ALU. The stiffer 4g soft tempers the extra power of the pacific gut perfectly so that you get slightly less power, more spin and control, and a much more arm friendly feel than VS touch/ALU rough. I string it at 56/53 in my TC95 16x19 63RA and it’s just impossible to miss. I find most gut/poly hybrids to have a power:spin ratio ie. “spin control,” where the increase in rhs yields enough spin to control the extra pace poly allows, up to a certain point where the incremental gains in pace and spin diverge and the shot goes out. Prime gut/4g soft is the only combo I’ve tried where I’m physically unable to find that point. I can literally hit all out from anywhere on the court and get enough spin regardless of power, the only limiter is my footwork and technique. I’d play it every time if pacific gut wasn’t so expensive/scarce but right now I just have a small stockpile for important matches.


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LOBALOT

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That is great, I will give it a try. I have a stockpile of 4G soft as my son's coach uses it and I string his racquets.

That TC95 is a very nice stick as well as I had my son demo it before he settled on the blade.

As far as my racquet you will laugh... I used to play pretty well but fractured my wrist and tore tendons in it playing tennis a few years back. 3 surgeries later and then PT/recovery over several years and I was finally out there playing. The next year I developed bone spurs in my elbow which then required more surgery, more PT, more time off.

Anyway I play with a very soft speed port racquet which is all my arm will allow. My serve is still pretty decent so I get by with that which is where I appreciate a little extra pop and spin from strings. I think the gut helps me redirect my opponents pace of shot vs. poly. I am just happy to be out there playing USTA tennis so my boy can have some memories of his hold man competing (even as poorly as I am playing these days.).

I got into the stringing as my son's coach lent me his crank to keep him going as he breaks 4G like crazy. I then bought an Alpha Ghost 2 as I really started to enjoy it and tinkering with this and that setup. I now string for quite a few of the tennis players in our town.

Thank you for the suggestion on the pacific/4G soft.
 
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