Frequently Asked Questions
Where are you based?
The Racquet Lab is based in East Belfast. However we have several points available for dropping racquets off and we also accept racquets by post. For details of how to send racquets by post please e-mail us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
What qualifications and experience do you have?
The Racquet Lab (formerly CJS Tennis) is run by Chris Sanlon who is currently qualified as a Master Racquet Technican with the European Racquet Stringers Association (ERSA). Chris has got almost 20 years experience in stringing and has been trained over the years by some of the top stringers in the world.
We pride ourselves in ensuring that every racquet is given the very best service regardless of whether it is for a full time professional player, a top level junior or a regular club level player.
Can you provide a stringing service at our club?
We are very happy to partner with your club to provide a stringing service on an on-going basis. There are several options for this depending on your requirements and your club. We can arrange for racquets to be collected from your club on a regular basis (limitations apply in terms of locations) or we can come to your club for a day or a weekend and provide a stringing and customising service on site with special offers for club members. If you would like to discuss some options for this please e-mail us on email@example.com or call Chris on 07751 469765.
Can you provide a stringing service for our Tournament?
Yes! If you are running a tournament and would like to have a stringer available on site during your event please e-mail us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call Chris on 07751 469765 to check availability and discuss options.
What types of string are there?
There are thousands of different strings available these days and it can be very hard to know where to start. That’s where we come in! We can give you expert advice and options based on your racquet, playing style and individual requirements.
How often should I restring my racquets?
This is perhaps one of the most common questions. Racquets should be restrung at least every 6 months regardless of whether they are broken or not. A general rule of thumb is to restring as many times a year as you would play in a week. So if you play 3 times a week then you should aim to restring around 3 times a year at least.
Why not wait until they break?
Many club players can end up going for many years without breaking a string – and often this is thought to be a good thing. But over time the strings lose tension and elasticity. This happens at different rates depending on, amongst other things, the type of string. Playing with strings which are ‘dead’ means you aren’t getting the performance from your racquet that you should. It also makes you more liable to arm and shoulder injury.
I have just bought a new racquet - should I restring it?
Unless your racquet was restrung at the time you bought it we strongly recommend getting it professionally strung before you start playing with it. Factory strings are often cheap and durable, not professionally installed and may have been installed a long time before you bought the racquet. If you are spending £50+ on a new racquet you will definitely want to get new strings as well.
What about the tension?
The tension is often the most misunderstood aspect of stringing. Generally speaking lower tensions give more power and higher tensions give more control. BUT! There is a lot more to it than that. The type of string you are using plays a big factor in what tension you should use as does the player’s ability. We can provide you with expert advice and recommendations on tensions and we keep accurate records of each restring so if you find the next time you want to increase or decrease the tension or try something different we can do this easily.
How long will it take?
We aim to have racquets strung and ready to collect within 24 – 48 hours. However if the racquet is required for a particular time we will also aim to have it ready in time and a while you wait service is also an option by appointment.
Does it matter how the strings are installed?
The simple answer is yes. There are many amateur stringers around who may offer to restring a racquet at drastically lower prices. However you should first check what qualifications the stringer has. A poor quality re-string can lead to injuries, to premature string breakage or even damage to the frame itself.
We pride ourselves in every single racquet being strung to the highest level – ensuring consistency from frame to frame and minimising the stress placed on the frames during stringing.
Chris Sanlon at The Racquet Lab is qualified as a Master Racquet Technician with the European Racquet Stringers Association.
What does customisation cost?
Customisation costs from £15 / racquet. This includes all measurements and equipment including lead tape and weights but does not include grommet strips or grips if required. Once your racquets have been customised the first time minor adjustments and replacements will be made free of charge when being restrung. Player packages are also available.
Should my racquets be strung before customising?
Ideally customisation will be carried out on unstrung frames with no grips. Especially when matching 2 or more frames as the stripped down frames will be more accurate to work with. This also may allow the weights to be placed below the grommet strips out of sight which many people prefer. However this may require new grommet strips to be installed unless they are brand new frames.
If necessary however we can customise and work with frames without removing the strings first. Although for best results we advise removing the strings first.
Why are my 2 idential models of racquets not already identical?
Most people expect their racquets to be exactly the same if buying 2 or more of the same racquet. However manufacturing of the racquets includes an acceptable range of usually + or – 7g weight. This means that 2 identical models of the same racquet could be as much as 14g different. However even if the static weight isn’t all that much different – the swingweight and/or the balance could still vary quite significantly and this will affect how they play.
Can you change the handle sizes?
We can easily increase the handle sizes of any frame using heat shrink sleeves which maintains the shape of the racquet. Many people will tend to apply 2 or 3 full grips on top of each others but this makes the handle much rounder than it should be.
With some manufactures we can also change the grip pallet to adjust the size of the handle up or down.
How often do I need to customise my racquets?
Once you have the specifications you want we will have a record of it and every time you get your racquet restrung we will check the customisations and replace any weights if necessary without charge. The only need for further cost will be if you purchase additional frames or change racquets.
It may take a bit of trial and error for you to find the exact specifications you want and we will work with you on this. Once you have it though that’s it. Unlike stringing there is no need to get your frames fully customised every month or 2. We will just check them when they are getting restrung.
How long will it take?
We aim to have racquets customised and ready for collection within 48 hours however some jobs may require a bit more time – particularly if we have to order in grommet strips or if there are more than 2 or 3 frames to work on.
If you are working to a deadline for a tournament or a trip however we will always aim to have your racquets ready when needed.
How often should I change my grip?
Most players don’t change their grips often enough which can lead to the racquet slipping during play or to blisters.
Overgrips should ideally be changed every 3 – 4 hours of play if not every time you play.
Replacement grips will last longer but should not be used for more than 3 – 4 weeks in most cases.
Overgrip or Replacement Grip?
This largely comes down to preferance. However there is also a cost factor involved. Although they need replaced more often – overgrips are much cheaper than decent replacement grips are. So for tennis in particular overgrips are usually the preferred option for the tournament level player.
Both overgrips and replacement grips can come in a variety of styles including tacky, soft, smooth, textured and so on.
For squash and badminton a replacement grip is often preferred with Karakal PU Super grip being the most popular option.
Can I buy grips in bulk?
Yes we can supply grips in bulk at discounted prices. This could be for tournament players needing to keep a ready supply in their racquet bag, or for coaches and clubs to use a prizes or to re-sell. Please contact us for more details and prices.
What do you charge to apply grips?
Any grips or overgrips purchased from The Racquet Lab can be applied professionally free of charge.
Is there a discount on grips when getting racquets restrung?
Yes any grip or overgrips purchased along with a re-string will be at a discounted rate. We will also apply your new grip completely free of charge.
Any other questions?
CONTACT US TODAY FOR EXPERT ADVICE