Creative String Patterns
Since I've been stringing, I've developed an appreciation for the hard work that goes into stringing certain rackets. It's fair to say that some are very easy to string and others... not so straightforward!
There are a few interesting string patterns on squash rackets, with Prince PowerRing, Tecnifibre Dynergy and a few manufacturers adopting 'fan' patterns (where a single grommet at the bottom is used to thread 2 mains before fanning out into a single grommet a the top).
Racketball racket designers, however, seem to have cornered the market in creative design, with some crazy ideas being put to paper and seemingly signed off for production without a second thought from the 'powers that be'. I often imagine that the racketball design offices must be like 'Q' branch in MI6 (well, in James Bond's world of MI6).
I've recently strung a few racketball rackets from Wilson, where it's safe to say that the designers clearly must have felt that the strings would outlast the frame! I've strung many Wilson rackets which have 3 mains (branching into 6 ) going through the actual handle (see attached pics), but last week I stumbled across a Wilson which had 4 mains (branching into 8) going through the handle. Not content with this rather inventive design element, where you have to remove the grips to string the rackets, Wilson also decided to add what can only be described as 'power holes' for the strings to emerge from for good measure!!!
Rather than becoming frustrated - it can take a fair amount of time to string these rackets - I actually enjoy the challenge. It's something new and interesting to explore. I contacted Wilson directly and they were as bemused as me, but we had a bit of a laugh about it. They seem to agree with my 'Q' branch theory too :-)
So, what's the thought process behind this type of design? Simply put, I believe the purpose is to lengthen the center mains which should, in theory, allow for great power to be developed. I'm a little skeptical though, and due to the fact that the strings are kept close to the grip, as opposed to hanging free, this would probably negate any additional bounce/power that might be generated. Looks pretty clever though!