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Jargon Busting

Posted by Rob Marshall on 25th March 2023

Explanations of some of the common terms used to describe string performance characteristics.

Blog thumbnailWith countless strings available on the market, choosing the most suitable string for your racket and game style can be a little overwhelming. The majority of strings are produced using similar materials and string construction types, making it very difficult to differentiate one string from another in terms of performance – particularly without play testing every string on offer. To overcome this market saturation, string manufacturers will commonly advertise their strings with claims that they provide superior ‘power’ and/or ‘control’, along with other performance benefits.

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Stringing ‘Fan’ Pattern Squash Rackets

Posted by Rob Marshall on 29th August 2021

Guidance on stringing squash rackets with ‘fan’ patterns.

Blog thumbnailRegular stringers of squash rackets will inevitably encounter rackets strung with a ‘fan’ pattern. Unlike traditional rackets where the main strings run parallel to one another, in a fan pattern the mains converge at the throat, with wider separation than normal between the main strings at the head. A number of manufacturers including Dunlop, Head and Mantis have utilised fan patterns in several generations of their racket models, most of which have an open throat or ‘teardrop’ shape frame. Fan patterns always start with the centre mains loop at the head and, in general, are best strung in two pieces (although there are some exceptions).

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Stringing ‘Power Ring’ Squash Rackets

Posted by Rob Marshall on 31st August 2020

Guidance on stringing squash rackets with the unique ‘Power Ring’ design.

Blog thumbnailSquash rackets manufactured by Prince often feature the signature ‘Power Ring’ – a patented design where all main strings wrap around an inverted ring in the throat. The Power Ring design has been replicated by other manufacturers including Tecnifibre, in the ‘Arch Power’ series of squash rackets, Wilson ‘Power Hinge’ rackets and also Karakal rackets with the ‘NEXGEN FF Core Bridge’. As the Power Ring and its near identical imitations do not use conventional grommets around the throat area, the stringing method used for these rackets is slightly unique.

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Spaghetti Stringing (Part 3: Stringing an AMF Head Master 2)

Posted by Rob Marshall on 5th July 2020

A closer look at recreating the 'spaghetti' stringing system and the practicalities of converting a conventional tennis racket.

Blog thumbnailThe spaghetti stringing system differs greatly between racket models, as each frame requires nuances in the design to tailor it to the specific string pattern and grommet configuration. The patents filed by Werner Fischer do not clarify some of the finer practicalities of stringing a racket with his system, nor do they contain solutions to racket-specific problems that may be encountered. There are various complications that can arise without first examining the system in closer detail.

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Spaghetti Stringing (Part 2: How to String a Spaghetti Racket)

Posted by Rob Marshall on 13th June 2020

An overview of the main characteristics of the 'spaghetti' stringing system and its design development.

Blog thumbnailThe spaghetti stringing system had the potential to revolutionise the tennis racket industry. Its inventor, Werner Fischer, realised there was an opportunity to turn his unique system into a lucrative business and, prior to the ITF’s rule changes in 1978, filed several patents for iterations of the spaghetti system in an attempt to protect the rights to his invention.

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Spaghetti Stringing (Part 1: A Brief History)

Posted by Rob Marshall on 3rd May 2020

An introduction to 'spaghetti' stringing, taking a look at events in the 1970s leading up to the ban of the controversial racket.

Blog thumbnailIn the modern game of tennis, the size and composition of rackets are strictly controlled by the sport’s governing body, the International Tennis Federation (ITF). In order to comply with the ITF Rules of Tennis, rackets must have a uniform string bed comprising interwoven layers of main strings and cross strings. Only one set of strings is allowed on the hitting surface of the racket. But for the first hundred years of the game’s history, such rules did not exist and unusual racket designs and stringing systems were commonplace.

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UKRSA ‘Around the World’ Pattern

Posted by Rob Marshall on 5th April 2020

Step-by-step instructions for stringing rackets using the UKRSA 'Around the World' pattern.

Blog thumbnailThe ‘Around the world’ (ATW) pattern is a particular method of one-piece stringing used with tennis and squash rackets, where the main strings would naturally finish at the throat and conventional one-piece stringing would necessitate starting the crosses at the bottom. The ATW method ensures the crosses are installed from the top of the frame, as is often required under the racket manufacturer’s warranty, thereby protecting the frame from distortion during the stringing process.

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Stringing Machine Maintenance

Posted by Rob Marshall on 29th December 2019

Guidance on how to clean and maintain stringing machines.

Blog thumbnailStringing machines have numerous moving parts, each of which require regular cleaning in order to maintain a well-functioning machine. Although most routine cleaning and maintenance can be done only periodically, stringing machines benefit greatly when this is done as regularly as possible in proportion to usage, as it will not only ensure smooth operation of the mechanical parts, but will prolong the machine's working life.

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Stringing Eye Squash Rackets

Posted by Rob Marshall on 20th October 2019

Some tips for stringing Eye Rackets squash rackets.

Blog thumbnailEye Rackets squash rackets require a little extra attention when restringing, compared with rackets from most other leading manufacturers. Eye rackets are unique in that they do not have conventional grommet/bumper strips, but instead have 'eyelets' that are inserted into individual grommet holes, much like with badminton rackets. The purpose of this is to minimise surplus weight at the head of the frame, thereby helping to achieve optimum balance. However, when they are not held in place by tensioned strings, the eyelets have a frustrating tendency to fall out and can easily be lost, particularly when pulling out old strings. This is made worse with factory strings coated with stencil ink, as the strings are slightly thicker than usual, which can cause them to catch on the eyelets.

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Stringing Machine Conversion

Posted by Rob Marshall on 19th October 2019

A guide to retrofitting manual stringing machines with the Wise 2086.

Blog thumbnailElectronic stringing machines offer far greater accuracy than manual ‘lock-out’ machines, primarily due to the constant-pull technology offered that compensates for the string continuing to stretch after the set tension is reached. However, electronic machines are a significant investment (often upwards of £3,000) that only a full-time stringer doing high volumes of rackets may be able to justify. For a rookie stringer buying their first equipment on a limited budget, a cheaper drop-weight or crank machine is often the preferred choice, as these can be bought for as little as £250.

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