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The Legend of L-TEC Premium Tennis Strings (BLOW OUT SALE IN PROGRESS!)

Posted in Guts and Glory Products, L-TEC Strings, Strings | Comments Off on The Legend of L-TEC Premium Tennis Strings (BLOW OUT SALE IN PROGRESS!)

L-TEC Premium logo1In 2011 a brash and bold new stringing upstart thrust itself upon the US stringing market.  The strings represented the very best work of John Elliot, who is known in the profession as the “Father of Polyester Strings”  At the time, Mr. Elliot had a hand in developing a huge number of poly and copoly strings in production.  L-TEC represented the best of his work and was considered to be the ultimate in terms of overall playability, tension maintenance and overall performance.  This is the string line that would change tennis.

Indeed L-TEC created a stir in the marketplace.  It broke convention in many ways.  It was presented as a complete stringing system.  The L-TEC system was the first to make use of the poly/poly hybrid using differently shaped polys in the mains and crosses to create custom effects.  Today many string companies are pre-packaging differently shaped polys, but L-TEC was the first.  No one prior to L-TEC had any such offering.

L-TEC was the first poly-based string to specifically call for stringers to install it the way it was designed to perform best…at LOW tensions.  (Well, lower than synthetic and natural guts.)  L-TEC boldly made the claim that polys needed to be strung low for optimal performance and laid the ground work for polys to be strung at lower tensions (in the 30’s and 40’s) and still maintain outstanding control.  In an effort to help support this, L-TEC promoted a method of stringing that resulted in a terrific playing stringbed at lower tensions.  While some polys suggest dropping tension by 10%, none went to the length of making such a strong suggestion and providing support and a method for stringing.

L-TEC strings were the first in any marketplace to offer a square shaped string.  Today there are many square shaped strings available, but once again, L-TEC blazed that trail and showed how to hybrid that offering with huge versatility for outstanding effects and results.  In fact, the L-TEC 3S/4S combination is the only hybrid that was ever successfully patented because of the unique performance characteristics it delivered.

L-TEC strings bravely and boldly entered the marketplace at premium pricing.  Very bold for a new company.  L-TEC was the most expensive strings in the marketplace, by far.  It was a premium string aiming for players who wanted the best performance regardless of the cost.  It is likely that L-TEC paved the way for other strings to increase pricing once it was realized the market would bear higher pricing.  This is one of the unfortunate legacies of the L-TEC string.

LTECOSreelL-TEC was the first company to offer their strings in half sets, full sets, 1/4 reels, 1/2 reels, full reels and oversized reels. Today we see some string companies offering half reels and even half sets, but to date, no one is offering customers the convenient variety of L-TEC.  Of course since the system allowed for a variety of shapes to be blended the smaller volumes made this easier for customers to experiment.

Yes, L-TEC changed the tennis string market in many ways.  Unfortunately the premium pricing model was proven as not being able to succeed without major marketing dollars behind it and L-TEC became a niche string. Today, we are sad to announce, that we will no longer be carrying the legendary L-TEC strings.  It is time to move on.  While it is sad to watch this legend leave the US shores, it will be remembered fondly.  It is truly a brand that blazed trails and left an indelible mark.

The good news for US residents is that we have a nice inventory on hand that we are blowing it out at fantastic savings!  Strings that were once selling for $19 per set have been drastically reduced.  We have created a one of a kind sale for this unique string.  A sale of which has never been offered before.

We possess a substantial amount of these Premium L-TEC offerings in full sets, 1/4 reels, 1/2 reels, as well as the full reels and oversized reels that were once reserved for retailers ONLY.  For our clearance sale, we have created a unique ordering process.  Customers let us know how many full stringings they desire and we, in turn, will fulfill the order with whatever sizes are most efficient for processing the order.  Better yet, customers used to have to order larger quantities to bring the cost per set down, but in this clearance we are selling at BELOW the lowest cost per set and well below wholesale.  This is the best deal Guts and Glory Tennis has ever offered.  L-TEC Premium strings are still the top performance polys on the market and we are making them available to you at just $3.00 per stringing!!!  BEST. DEAL. EVA!

L-TEC Premium String Sale is HERE.

 

 

Okay…I’m unofficially the first StringWeavers Fanboy!

Posted in Other Equipment | Leave a comment

In my last post I reviewed the new StringWeaver tool. Since then I have continued making use of it and enjoying it more each and every day. Since the review, there have been some newer developments that are worth sharing.

I have found for me, I get best results using the method I described in the previous post. AND as promised…I am delivering a video demonstrating the process and method I use with this tool. No, the video is not professionally produced and I don’t always find the correct word for what I am describing, but I decided to roll with it anyway. Just think of it as sort of a facebook live video with some fast forward action and silly music during the boring parts.

Here are my newest comments. When I was using the dense pattern tool (blue one), I noted that it actually only touched and activated the open channel for 14 of the 18 strings. This left two on each side that were not being activated by the tool. For an experienced stringer using the tool in the context that I use it, this was not a problem. In fact, I preferred it. So I contacted the inventor and suggested that he think about creating versions for the more open stringbeds that only activated 12 of the 16 mains instead of 14. He sent me some prototypes and IMO, these rock for professional stringers. It takes a great tool and makes it even greaterer.

Essentially the prototypes I am using make the tool smaller allowing it to remain in the stringbed for a longer period of time. It also helps address the issue of the unit being difficult to remove. While it may make getting started a little trickier for those newer to stringing, in my opinion it is worth it. I am not sure if StringWeavers will eventually offer this size, but if they do, I heartedly recommend them. They rock!

I have also finally figured out how to best manage the placement of the tool. For me, I prefer to start the tool about 3/4 deep in the stringbed and then after a few crosses are installed, move it down to almost as low as it will go. I find weaving with the slightly less raised portion of the channel works best. I then fan the string to the open part of the channel when pulling the string through.

So, why make a video and another blog entry on a product that I do not sell? I think of it as a service to the professional stringing community in raising awareness about this tool. I deem it absolutely fantastic and have grown to the point where I strongly dislike stringing without it. It is available from www.stringweavers.com

StringWeavers are Rockin’ Our World!

Posted in Insider Tips, Stringing | Leave a comment

It is indeed an extremely rare occurance for racquet technicians/stringers to be presented with new tool options. Sure the standard cutters can be improved and premium string clippers and awls can be introduced, but I can not recall the last time a tool was created that generated so much excitement for me when stringing. I am first to admit, I’m a gadget guy. I enjoyed using “The String Thing” to straighten strings, I enjoyed when I purchased my Xuron cutters, my UltraSport tension calibrator, my Craftsman R6265 electric stapler, my Beers ERT 300, my GSS RAB starting clamp, My RAB grommet grinders, my beloved Hansen Tacker, my stethoscope and even my Stringway Cross Stringing Tools. However, none of them, NONE, have gotten as much continual use and have been able to make my job easier and more enjoyable on a daily basis than the new StringWeaver tools.

Quite frankly stringing with the StringWeavers is an unexpected joy. When I set out to first test them, I was skeptical. I had no idea how easy they would be to use nor did I expect that they would quickly become my favorite stringing tool ever. So what exactly are they and why I am so passionate about them?

StringWeaver currently makes 3 versions of their device. Each is designed to work in harmony with different density stringbeds. Once the main strings are in place, the StringWeaver tool is placed into the stringbed. It fits easily onto the main strings. Once it is placed onto the strings, the stringer simply slides the plates to latch it into place. If you are familiar with the Stringway Cross Stringing tool, it is infinitely easier and less clunky to install and use.

What this tool does is to raise and lower alternating strings to create a channel allowing easy installation of the cross strings. It is essentially the same effect that stringers have been using for years with the “one ahead” weaving method, only with the StringWeaver tool engaged, the channel is a little deeper and makes installing the cross strings infinitely easier. While weaving is not necessarily a difficult challenge (or any challenge for that matter) for an experienced stringer, the tool provides some specific advantages in addition to making it easier to get the string in place. Specifically, the larger channel makes it much easier to install stiff strings. Some of the new stiff poly-based strings with sharp profiles can make the fingertips of even the most grizzled stringing professionals numb after just a few frames. Enter the StringWeaver tool. With the enhanced channel, the strings can be placed into the stringbed more freely and easily resulting in less friction and discomfort for the fingertips of the person installing the strings.

But wait, there’s more! In addition to less friction while weaving, you can use the tool to create a nearly friction free channel for pulling the crosses. This reduces the chances of notching and actually allows the stringer to gain some time in the stringing process as they can pull more rapidly with no fear of notching or burning. I really appreciate this option when stringing natural gut. Pulling the natural gut through a practically friction free channel is the best possible scenario for this living, breathing, somewhat fragile string. Professional stringers know that all the passes through the channels, no matter how careful, can twist the gut a little and wear on the protective coating. These issues, common to pulling/properly installing natural gut crosses, are all but eliminated when incorporating the StringWeaver tool into the stringing process.

In my business I string a significant amount of sharp profiled poly-based strings. This tool saves a tremendous amount of wear and tear on my fingertips. After receiving the tool and thoroughly testing it, I found myself using it more and more in many scenarios, not just for poly-based offerings. For instance, I found it useful/helpful when installing sticky multifilaments. It made pulling crosses much easier with no fear of notching. As mentioned above, using with natural gut is now essential for me as there are just too many advantages to ignore. I also enjoy using it with most synthetic gut at 58 jobs, just because it has now become part of how I string.

Initially I was concerned the tool may alter the results of my stringing. I was afraid that continually pushing down on the mains to create a channel would possibly stretch them out and perhaps create a looser stringbed. Then I wondered if pulling tension on the crosses while using the tool would alter the stringbed stiffness, perhaps making it tighter? So, I put it to the test. I strung the same racquet multiple ways and measured my results. My testing period lasted approximately two weeks. What I found was when I incorporated the tool into my stringing routine a certain way, the results were 100% identical to the method I use without the StringWeaver tool. I used my Babolat RDC to measure stringbed stiffness and I also used an ERT 300 to measure Dynamic Tension and my trusty String Meter so I could measure individual strings. Bottom line was I could create differing stringbed outcomes using the StringWeaver in some ways, but I could create identical outcomes to what I always get, using the method I describe below.

The next paragraph describes the process I use.  It is difficult to follow, but for those interested in the process, it provides detail.  I hope to someday soon produce a video which will be a far better way to demonstrate how I use it.

I always install and tension the first two cross strings and have the 3rd string in place, but not tensioned.  At that point I insert the StringWeaver.   I then trigger the switch on the tool to open the channel and then weave the 4th cross string into place through the open channel. Next, I pull tension on the 3rd cross string. (Note: I am essentially using the one ahead stringing method for crosses that I always use) After clamping off, I then pull the rest of the string through the channel. Once the string is all pulled through I switch the trigger on the StringWeaver and reverse the channel. I then push string number 4, which is installed but not yet tensioned, up against string #3. (Note that because the channel has been reversed string #4 is now in a hard weave environment.)  I go ahead and install cross string number 5. I pull through the string leaving enough to reach the tensioner. I then tension string #4, (the string that is now in a hard weave environment) pull the rest of the string through, switch the trigger to reverse the channel and repeat the process.  I have found the results using this method and sequencing changes nothing in my stringing results, but makes stringing much more pleasant for me.

It should be noted that when I was pulling tension with an open channel, my results varied from my norm. The stringbed was measuring tighter, but not by as much as I initially projected. I strung several rounds with the open method and it did produce identical results, but these results did not match the results I get when not using the StringWeaver.

Did it save me time? Honestly, I am not sure. In some cases I may have shaved a minute or two off of my stringing time and in some cases I may have added a couple of minutes. Time was not a factor one way or the other for me. However, for someone who does not string often or is learning, the StringWeaver may indeed save a significant amount of time. Weaving is just easier with this tool.

As much as I love the StringWeavers and fully endorse and embrace them, there are a couple of areas which new users will want to be aware. Currently the tool needs to be removed anywhere from the last 2 – 5 cross strings. (Using my preferred method) This is the area of the stringbed where weaving is the most difficult/challenging. With some frames the unit is too big/long to operate reasonably in the lower parts of the head. Also on some frames the StringWeaver can become stuck. The sliding process that allows the tool to disengage from the stringbed becomes extremely tight and difficult to implement. It needs to be cajoled in order to disengage and this can slow things down and become disconcerting if the tool decides to be obstinate about removal. This occurs mostly when, using my method, the tool is pushed to the very limits for working during the installation of cross strings. I now take it out a string earlier so as not to have to wrestle with it, but it means I do have to endure an extra weave or two in the most difficult part of the frame. It should be noted that the manufacturer does recommend a different process, but he does suggest removing the tool before tensioning the final cross strings.

Finally, some readers may wonder how the StringWeavers compare to the StringWay cross stringing tool. In my estimation there is no real comparison. The StringWeavers are infinitely easier to use. With the Stringway tool, the user just slides the string through the device rather than weaving. It is nifty and works, but I find when using the StringWeaver I am far less likely to produce a misweave error and it is faster and fits much better with my established stringing rhythm.

Guts and Glory Tennis does not sell or profit from this tool. We just discovered it works great for us and wanted to share our experiences. The device can be purchased online directly through the manufacturer who is USA based. Buy American! http://stringweavers.com/

Tennis Elbow – Our New Approach

Posted in Tennis Elbow | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

NewApproach logoFor more than 10 years, Guts and Glory Tennis has taken a keen interest in helping tennis players, both local and distance, who have been experiencing arm discomfort. We’ve seen A LOT, learned A LOT… AND we’ve helped HUNDREDS of players find a solution and resume playing free of pain.  We want to help even more players in 2016 and beyond!

In reflecting on our interactions with customers since 2008 we have realized that just providing desirable specifications and lists of arm-friendly equipment is not enough. The public wants more. Customers with individual questions and issues call us every day, sometimes multiple times, and we typically spend considerable time helping them diagnose a possible cause of their discomfort as well as time reviewing and evaluating their current equipment. Often we end up spending time online conducting spec searches and recommending replacement frames as well as strings and tensions to help them play once again without pain.  Our success rate is extremely high and we take great pride in being able to give back to the community we love by using our knowledge and experience to help players who are hurting.

Unfortunately we do not always have the time needed to sufficiently help each person who reaches out to us.  We refer them to our popular blog post about “Selecting Elbow Friendly Racquets” (note the litany of comments!) but we realize that most want more. They NEED more. While we believe the specs we have outlined are helpful to many, it can get much more complex when you start factoring in head size, technologies, string patterns, etcetera.  Also, it is no longer effective to look at the frame in isolation.  Often the string choice and tension is just as crucial if not more so.

The total equipment package must be examined in its entirety to understand the root of the pain and to address it properly.  Likewise the total package must be evaluated for those approaching it from a preventive paradigm.  Understanding string options today is highly involved. The volume of strings alone can be overwhelming and when you add the complexities of looking at hybrids consisting of different string materials, shapes, gauges and tensions the possibilities are virtually limitless.  It requires exceptional knowledge of strings and materials and experience with them in order to examine and make sound recommendations.  We possess this knowledge base and are willing to share, but we needed to find an efficient way to manage the way we interact with our customers.

Thus we are thrilled to announce that we have created a brand new online class!!!   We believe by offering information via an online class format we will be able to provide the best service we know possible to tennis players who may be suffering from equipment related arm pain AND those being proactive and trying to avoid it entirely.

Easily accessed classroom technology with a super friendly user interface did not exist back in 2008 when we started blogging about tennis elbow related issues, but it sure does now and it’s powerful!  We believe that a formal online classroom setting is perfect for helping players suffering from equipment related arm discomfort.  We have structured our class to function as an independent/individual study where players can share their story with us by responding to the questions we need to assess their situation. Since it is all conducted online, the student can determine when he/she wants to interact and respond to us.   It allows us to respond in a thoughtful and thorough manner–one in which we are not trying to hustle through a phone consultation because we have a pile of racquets waiting to be strung.

We are extremely excited about this new offering and have spent a good amount of time preparing NEW materials and setting up an online structure to support it.  We’ve titled our course “Tennis Elbow Evaluation:  Individual Study” and it is being run on the CourseCraft platform.

You are invited to pop on over to our landing page where you will find a more detailed explanation of how the course is structured as well as a Table of Contents.  We look forward to you joining us and allowing us to help you using our cool new and highly interactive classroom structure.  Just follow the link below (or above) and the rest is easy!!!

https://coursecraft.net/courses/z9QqT/splash

WeissCANNON Gets HYPER!

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

WeissCANNON has built a reputation for producing a line of high quality tennis products occasionally presented/packaged in a somewhat quirky manner. Their string naming convention is completely unpredictable but that is part of what makes the company unique and fun.  That said, WeissCANNON users are fiercely loyal to the brand and the reason is simple…WeissCANNON strings deliver predictable, long-lasting performance.  Their two newest offerings are no exception.

The founder/owner of WeissCANNON is an engineer with a degree in fibers technology and he is perpetually pushing his team to reach, innovate and not be tied to convention.  The result is a brand new material, “Hyper-Poly” that combines many of the desirable characteristics of newer generation copolys with greater comfort, ball speed and control. The material offers a slick outer surface that promotes string movement for easy access to spin and easy installation.  In short, Hyper-Poly enhances overall performance in virtually all measurables.

Four years ago Siggi Weiss sent us a color sample of a fluorescent red string.  He was excited about the color and at that time he told us he was saving it for a “Special String” that he was developing.  That string is the new WeissCANNON Red Ghost. Fluorescent red is appropriate because this string is raging in tennis goodness.  It will definitely fire up your game with increased ball speed and comfort making it hard to fathom you are playing with a poly. In fact you are not playing with a traditional copoly and differences are something you will immediately notice and appreciate.  In addition to the new material, WeissCANNON has developed a unique extrusion method for this exciting offering.  Red Ghost is comprised of 7 Grooved Ridges.  This unique construction allows the Red Ghost to both grab the felt and slide for very nice access to spin on command.

ultracablesetSubscribing to the theory that 2 is better than 1, WeissCANNON has introduced a second new offering using a variation of the new material.  The second is simply called Ultra Cable.  This new offering is the most aggressively designed spin string in their arsenal.  It is four-sided and the profile is razor sharp with an insatiable appetite for ball fuzz.  This string is stiffer than the RedGhost, but still offers an impressive level of comfort and playability.  The sharp profile is reminiscent of some other square strings on the market, with the distinguishing difference being playability.  Simply, the Ultra Cable plays better, lasts longer and produces as much spin as any string in the squared profile category.

At Guts and Glory Tennis we strongly believe these strings are so unique that they will change the way you think about tennis strings.  Toward that end, FOR A LIMITED TIME, we are offering playtest discounts well below wholesale to EXISTING customers who contact us directly via email or through our Facebook page.  We believe once you try these new offerings there is simply no going back.  New customers may also contact us and we will offer discounts close to wholesale for playtest purposes.

Be an early adopter and reap the on-court rewards!

DARE TO COMPARE!

Posted in WeissCANNON Strings | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

WeissCANNON offers one of the most impressive lines of string in the tennis industry today.  The quality is ridiculously good and the price point makes them a steal of a deal.  WeissCANNON wants to earn your business and they are aggressively seeking new players who want to improve their games by upgrading to WeissCANNON strings. […]

Pro-Stringer – Initial Impressions

Posted in Stringing Machines, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Recently we had the opportunity to review one of the more interesting/innovative products we have seen–the Pro-Stringer.  For those who do not know of it yet, the Pro Stringer is the world’s smallest stringing machine.  The machine was originally conceived by a tour level player who wanted to be able to string for himself in […]

New…Free Shipping to Canada!

Posted in Guts and Glory Announcements | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Guts and Glory Tennis is delighted to announce that we have partially solved one of the huge logistical challenges we have been facing in providing products to non-commercial customers residing in Canada.  In the past, the shipping costs to send a parcel with tracking and insurance was extremely high and made ordering from us undesirable.  […]

Ode to the Mono

Posted in Racquets | Tagged , | 13 Comments

Very little information is available online about the Prince Precision Mono, one of the coolest racquets ever produced. It is entirely possible this racquet was introduced years ahead of it’s time. The tennis world just wasn’t ready, and still isn’t ready, for a radical retro paradigm shift back to the monoshaft design. Still, this is […]

Sweet Spotter Sweetness.

Posted in Other Equipment, Tennis Elbow, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Last week I received an email message from a colleague in Germany.  He asked me “why don’t you carry the Sweet Spotter?”  My response was “what is a Sweet Spotter?” and that is how my newest journey began… Within minutes I was dialing up Mr. Google to see what the heck my friend was talking […]

Let’s label it “HEX-tacular!”

Posted in MSV Strings, Strings, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The hottest selling string in the MSV lineup is the much loved and award-winning MSV Focus Hex®.  This string represents what is arguably one of the best price/performance values of any string on the market today.  The performance rivals and surpasses much higher priced competitors…a fact that thousands of players and schools and top-ranked juniors […]

The most biased, politically incorrect and completely over-the-top racquet review–EVER! (And it is ALL TRUE!…well, mostly true)

Posted in Racquets | Tagged , | 4 Comments

As soon as I began warming up the first time with the Donnay demo that had been sitting in my bag waiting its turn for a playtest, I could sense something very special was about to go down.  In this case it was my league tennis opponent who went down…hard…extremely hard…whimpering off the court kinda […]

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