The first question you should have is, what makes a good racket stringer?
Qualifications is an obvious answer, and most of the time this will put you on the right road. It shows they are interested in what they do and take pride in their work. There are plenty of 'unqualified' stringers who are excellent at what they do too. Stringing is something you can learn and you generally improve the more you do. Knowledge is different! This requires time and effort to learn about all the different string types, the racket types and which combination works best together. These are always updating and require constant learning.
As a member of 4 different stringing associations I know the value they hold for me and how much I have learned from people in each of the associations, however there are also conflicting opinions of what's right and wrong within each association and across the associations. This is something that baffles me. The best advice I have received was 'as long as you can explain and justify your opinion, then stick with it'.
So here's what I think makes a good stringer:
- The quality of the work. Every restring from your stringer (assuming you are using the same string and tension) should feel the same.
- You should be asked questions about your style of play. Describe your swing, is it long and fast, short and controlled?
- They should ask what you are expecting from your string, power, control or a combination of both?
- A good stringer should explain how the various string types will perform, their benefits and the negatives.
- They should explain tension range.
- You should be asked if you have or had any arm injuries.
If your stringer doesn't ask these questions, how can they expect to offer you the best service.
While stringers should know more about rackets and strings than you they should not and cannot make the best choice for you without having your information.
If you look around your club and see everyone with the same strings, there's something wrong. In the same way that one racket won't suit everyone, one string doesn't suit everyone either.
This post will definitely annoy or offend some 'stringers' and that's ok, as they are the ones who are stringing to make an extra few pound and not interested in providing the best service.
You are the customer, ask as many questions as you want.
As always if you would like to get in touch about your own equipment you can contact me on email or whatsapp me on +974-66223047