Colin the Professional Racket Stringer
Colin the Professional Racket Stringer talks to UK-Racketball about getting the right string in your racket and how it can improve your game. Colin has been stringing for over 20 years and has the highest stringing qualifications obtainable, here is what he had to say...
The larger headsizes of racketball frames require strings engineered to perform best in these frames, and the squash strings generally used are not 100% suitable. In fact, some thin gauge tennis strings would be better. Best of all, of course, are strings designed and made especially for racketball, and companies such as Ashaway, Tecnifibre, and Ektelon produce strings manufactured specifically for the game.
Unfortunately, in the UK there are only a limited number of racketball strings available at present, and, as previously mentioned, most stringers will use squash strings. Players deserve better, and that’s why I import a number of racketball-specific strings from the US and Europe, giving you the best and most comprehensive choice available in the UK – see my website at http://www.colinthestringer.com/racquetball/
There are a number of different types of string construction – multifilament, monofilament, wrapped strings, and more. I won’t bore you with the technical details and differences, but the key thing is that using the most suitable type of string for your game can improve your performance significantly.
If touch and control are key to your game, multifilament strings, such as Tecnifibre’s 505 range, will enhance these facets. Multifilaments cushion the ball, giving unequalled feedback to the player. If bite on the ball is important to you, a string with a textured finish, like Ashaway SuperKill XL, or a thinner gauge string will help you get more on the ball, and if you base your game around power, a string incorporating polyester or Zyex, such as Ashaway UltraKill 17 or 18, will benefit your game. Some strings offer a combination of these features, allowing you to boost more than one aspect of your game. Playing with a string that doesn’t compliment your style will mean that you never get the best out of your racket or perform as best you can.
String tension also plays a part. Stringing at the top end of the racket’s recommended range will give more control, but will reduce the racket’s sweetspot, and lessen power. Stringing towards the lower end of the range will give more power and a larger sweetspot, but could lead to loss of control as the ball may trampoline off the strings. It comes down to player preference and ability, but if you are looking for more control, or more power, following these simple tension guidelines could help lift your game.
The strings are only part of the equation though. Just as important are the machine they’re strung on, and the knowledge and expertise of the stringer.
I use the Tecnifibre TF7000, which is pictured here, a state of the art electronic machine, which is used at the French Open tennis championships and numerous other major events around the world. It was specifically designed to string rackets for all racket sports, not just tennis.
Its tension can be adjusted in increments of 0.1lb, giving incredible accuracy, and it delivers a constant pull on the string, ensuring that the string is not damaged, and will perform to its optimum. Rackets strung on the TF7000 have a consistency of tension that no other machine can match.
As for me, well, I’ve been stringing for over 20 years, and have strung at major tournaments in the UK and overseas. I also hold the Master Racquet Technician qualification, the highest stringing qualification obtainable. Strings can easily be damaged if not handled carefully or installed correctly, and whilst damage may not always be visible to the naked eye, a damaged string can lose over 50% of its performance, so getting your racket strung by a qualified stringer is vital. Over the years I’ve worked closely with a large number of racket sports players to find the best racket and string combination for their game. I can do the same for you.
Getting the right string for your racket and style of play are major steps to playing better racketball. Be the best you can, and make sure you’re equipment is the best it can be as well. Feel free to contact me at http://www.colinthestringer.com/ask-the-stringer/ , or on 07925 777490 if you have any questions.
I look forward to hearing from you and helping you raise the level of your game!