We’ve all had our favourite racquets over the journey, the ones we just picked up and fell in love with. But what about the strings? None of our go-to racquets would be quite the same without being accompanied by quality strings.
The First Serve spoke to Geelong racquet stringer Braeden Lubcke about everything when it comes to stringing racquets.
Lubcke has been stringing racquets for 19 years, both at home and at numerous clubs.
So how do we find the best fit for our racquet? Is it the type of string, the tension, the frequency of having our racquet restrung? The simple answer is it varies from player to player. But Lubcke shared his knowledge with The First Serve about what to consider when taking your racquet in for a restring.
“The main difference will more than likely be tension, this is very much where each player will be different, lower tensions offering greater power potential whilst in turn creating less control. Higher string tension will greatly increase the control of shot but does reduce power potential.” Lubcke said.
“Depending on what each player is looking to get out of a string is the next for importance. Are they looking for more power, spin, control, feel or durability and what will offer them that attribute.
“Then you can also string a hybrid set-up, where you will use one string in the mains and another in the crosses, this can help get attributes from two different strings such as having a spin friendly string in the mains but putting in a softer string on your crosses to help retain as much feel off the racquet as possible. A lot of the pros will have a hybrid setup of a poly string mixed with natural gut.”
So how often should we get a restring? For some of us, it’s all about the feel, loss of tension. For others, it’s as simple as getting a restring on a needs basis of how often we break a string. But here is Lubcke’s recommendation for local players.
“My rule of thumb for local players is you should get restrings done as many times as you hit per week. So, for example if you are hitting three days a week, you should be having three re-strings per year. There is no harm doing this more or less frequently, but if you are hitting regularly and only get one restring per year, you might then have significant tension loss and will notice a change once you get your next restring.
“Players looking for greater performance should be getting their racquets strung more frequently to maintain optimal string tension when playing ... but equally important is having a high-quality string with the desired attributes.
“(As for) professional players, especially top players at the grand slam events, will get all their racquets strung each day, they will factor in if they are playing during the day or at night, what the predicted temperature will be, altitude of the tournament, the opposition’s style of play.”
Lubcke said stringing had changed so much over the two decades he has been doing it. The range of options and patterns constantly progressing, while the type of actual string has also advanced.
“Strings have changed greatly in that time, early days it was still all about the synthetic gut/nylon strings but within 3-4 years everything was going the way of the poly strings.
“They offer greater tension stability and durability than the synthetic strings and then once more colours and shape came into play it really accelerated the usage.”
Lubcke has recently started up Signum Pro Tennis Australia, with Signum Pro having not had an Australian importer for 3-4 years prior to this. Lubcke is keen to get the Signum range, which offers the full range of strings, grips and plenty more, back into the racquets of Aussie players of all levels.
Lubcke has been stringing with the Signum Pro strings for 16 years. Matteo Berrettini the most notable top player to use the range, Berrettini using the Signum Pro Firestorm strings on his rise to the ATP top 10.