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Frequently asked questions

I want to demo a racket, how do I arrange it?

Simply give me a call, drop me a message or email and we’ll get it arranged. 

Where do the demo sessions take place?

These can be arranged either at Ilkley or near my home in Roundhay. The sessions typically last around 30 minutes.

How much do demo sessions cost?

The cost is £15 for 30 minutes and we can take up to 3 rackets onto court. If you end up buying a racket the £15 will be rebated against the cost of the racket so the demo session may end up being free of charge.

Can I take the racket away with me to demo for a few days?

Unfortunately that is not something I can offer at this time. The demand for trying out rackets has been very high and the number of demo rackets I have is limited so this is the best solution at the moment.

How often should I get a restring?

There’s no simple answer to this really. Unless your string breaks or your unhappy with the performance or you get an injury then there’s no point getting it restrung. A general rule is that you should have your racket restrung per year, the amount of times you play per week. So if you play twice a week, then you should have a restring twice a year. Obviously this is a very rough guide as it depends on many factors such as arm or elbow problems, style of play, level of play etc.

What string should I get?

Good question! There are literally thousands of strings to choose from and it can be overwhelming to select just one from the range on the market. These strings can generally be put into different categories -natural gut, synthetic gut, polyester (monofilament) and multifilament. Natural gut, made from cow gut isn’t used very often these days other than at a professional level. It deteriorates quickly, particularly in damp weather and is very expensive. I always try and keep a couple of sets in stock just in case and really, everyone should try it at least once!

Synthetic gut is also fading in popularity a bit as well. Compared with the poly’s on the market it doesn’t last as long and loses it’s tension quite quickly. Having said that, it is much easier on the arm and elbow if you have had these problems in the past. If you have had tennis elbow issues for example then I would recommend using synthetic gut or a multifilament.

Polyester string is now the most popular string available now due to the variety of shapes, colours and playing attributes.

Multifilaments are generally regarded as easy on the arm, although I’ve found that access to spin and power can be limited. Usually this type of string is best used in a “hybrid” set-up. (See elsewhere on this page)

What tension should I get?

Tension ranges are usually from 50lbs to around 60lbs for tennis rackets. For squash it tends to be 25lbs to around 30lbs and for badminton from around 21lbs to 27lbs. Generally speaking the lower the tension, the more power you get and the higher the tension, the more control. I usually string in the early to mid 50’s for a good balance of power and control but it really depends on how you play!

How about gauge?

The gauge or thickness of the string is quite important, depending on what you want from your string. It’s generally regarded that thinner strings – around 1.20-1.25mm generate more power, feel and spin while thicker strings – around 1.30-1.35mm last longer.

What is a hybrid?

Hybrids are a combination of the types of string mentioned further up the page. Roger Federer is the most famous exponent of this type of set up. He has used a very stiff polyester string in the “mains” (the strings that run vertically from the throat) and natural gut in the “crosses” and most recently the opposite way round. The benefits of hybrid stringing are if you want to have access to spin but also want a bit more comfort – the poly generates the spin and the “softer” string provides the comfort. I’ve tested many combinations so please ask me for more info, or see the “Strings and Other Accessories” page

How long will my string last for?

How long is a piece of string?! This depends on any number of factors. If you mis-hit a ball or “shank” it, strings can break at virtually any time (usually somewhere round the edge of the racket). Also, it depends on the condition of your racket, particularly the grommets which are the holes round the frame the string is pulled through. After a time these become worn out and you’ll notice far more breakages round the edge of the frame. There are other obvious factors involved too – if you play for hours every day then your string will break quicker! I find that in the modern game players who use a lot of top spin tend to break strings far more quickly than players who hit the ball flat.

How long will it take for my racket to be done?

This depends on you! I aim to return your racket to you within 24 hours. If I have the string in stock then I can usually do this. For string I don’t stock then the turnaround time is around 72 hours. If you’re coming from a fair distance away or need your racket urgently, please contact me as I should be able to string it while you wait.

What machinery do you use?

I only use the best machinery available. I have 2 stringing machines – a Dunlop 2.0 which has been used at professional events and a Wilson Baiardo stringing machine which is widely regarded as the best stringing machine available on the market. It is extremely accurate and has been used at the highest levels of every racket sport. For racket tuning and customising I use a HEAD 3-in-1 machine, again regarded as one of the best pieces of kit available.

Why should I bring you my racket and not give it to my coach to string?

Well…most coaches (and I’d like to emphasise the word “most”!) see stringing as a way of supplementing their coaching income and they don’t recognise it as a stand alone discipline. In my experience coaches tend not to have formal stringing qualifications and have a very limited range of strings available – normally what they use in their rackets + a more “basic” option. As a stringer my focus and my time is spent solely on stringing so you can be sure to get the best standard of workmanship at all times.

How can I get my racket to you?

If you live in the Leeds area I am happy to pick it up and deliver it back to you, usually at no extra cost depending on where you live.  Alternatively, you can bring it to me at my house which is located close to Roundhay Park. I also have drop off points at Heaton Tennis & Squash Club in Bradford and Toprank Sport in Brighouse. Just head to reception, fill out the little form and let me take care of the rest!

Do you do mail order stringing?

Although most of my business is based locally I know not everyone can travel to either me or the drop off points so yes, if you contact me I’m always happy to string your racket wherever you are in the UK!

Which pro players have you/do you string for?

Whilst I can’t really name names I do string for several professional tennis players and squash players including a current top 20 in the World and a former number 3 in the World. I have also strung for a former grand slam winner and top 10 player in tennis and am currently stringing for many of the top juniors in the country.