Stringbed stiffness…some thoughts

tenniscomputerAt Guts and Glory Tennis we use an ERT 700 tennis computer to measure the stringbed stiffness on each frame we restring for our customers. The data collected from this equipment is then entered into our customer database to help us provide the most consistent stringing service to our customers.

The ERT 700, (and newer but less sophisticated ERT 300 model), each provide a measurement known as the “Dynamic Tension (DT)” or as we prefer to call it, “stringbed stiffness.” This number tells us how stiff the stringbed is given the context of the racquet. For instance, in general, racquets with denser string patterns provide a stiffer stringbed than those with more open patterns. Likewise stiffer frames provide a stiffer stringbed than more flexible frames when strung at identical tensions.

This number is extremely important because it is this number that represents what the stringer is trying to achieve for the player. This number determines the feeling and playability of the racquet. The reference tension, (what most players provide the stringer), is a guide to get to this number. If the player switches string-type or gets a new racquet, the stringer who uses this equipment can help the player get to this desired end-point.

At Guts and Glory Tennis we make sure that all racquets strung for our local players measure the same (+/-1 SDDT) with each stringing. The racquets are measured the moment they are removed from the stringing machine and checked to make sure the desired stringbed stiffness is achieved. If not, the racquet is restrung at no additional charge to the customer. In fact, the customer will never know the racquet was restrung because whenever he/she receives the racquet from us it is guaranteed to be the same as prior stringings. It is all part of the overall of quality service that our customers can expect from us.

In addition to being recorded in our database, the DT is listed on the bag tag we provide you.  This way if you see us at the courts we can take a measurement to see how much the stringbed stiffness has dropped.  (You are also welcome to stop by our shop for a personal reading).  When the loss reaches 20% or higher (note:  for some players a little higher and some a bit lower) it may be time to restring in order to maintain the desired on-court performance.  Note that in 2009 we intend to begin recording your DT information in a portable device that we will have with us so that we can take your readings and have a sense of what it means whether you have your bag tag with you or not.

Top notch professional stringers will invest in quality equipment and products for their customers. They will possess the expertise to use the equipment and products to provide the most benefits to their customers. At Guts and Glory Tennis we are proud of the equipment we have invested in and even more proud of our ability to maximize it to bring the best possible service to our customers.

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