Since moving to Puerto Rico I’ve started doing a lot more ‘practical’ things myself rather than relying on third parties. The latest activity to join that list is tennis racquet stringing. I play a lot of tennis (typically 2-3 times a week) so consequently I break strings fairly regularly. I got fed up driving to Mayagüez every time I needed a re-string so I decided to buy a stringing machine and learn how to do it myself. I figured if the dude in Sports Connection can do it, then so can I. How hard can it be?

The machine (an entry level Klippermate model) arrived over the weekend. I’d not had the racquets I broke recently re-strung, so I had 3 in need of attention, giving me a good chance to practice. Happily the machine came with 3 sets of complimentary strings, so I didn’t need to buy any extra. The stringing instructions were good except for a couple of pictures that didn’t really make the next step entirely clear. After some head scratching and swearing I finally finished my first racquet! 🙂

The blurb on the Klippermate website says that after some practice an average racquet should take 30 mins to string. The first one took me 3 hours(!), the second 2hrs 15 mins and the third 1 hour 45 mins. So I am getting quicker but I seriously doubt I’m ever going to break the 1 hour mark! 😦

I’ve got a lot more respect now for the guy at Sports Connection who has strung racquets for me in the past while I’ve waited. He has a bigger machine with built in clamps that let you string faster, but even so, it is a fiddly, time consuming job. It is kinda satisfying work though.

I’ve not played with the racquets yet (that happens tomorrow) so hopefully they won’t break/unravel the first time I hit a ball!

UPDATE: played with the racquets and they worked great! 🙂

In progress
Working on the first racquet

Job done
Done… and it actually looks and feels like it is supposed to!