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Proudly PRINCE!

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Starting February 20, 2021 we are delighted to announce we will become an official Prince Tennis Dealer…YOUR OFFICIAL PRINCE DEALER! How did this happen? What does this mean? Read on…

For the past several years, Prince Tennis has been in a tailspin. Spiraling downward since the introduction of the port design frames when nearly their entire stable of professional players abandoned them due to lack of feel with those racquets. Prince fell fast from a shining star in the tennis industry to a company filing for bankruptcy.

They have reorganized, but virtually all traditional distribution channels in the USA have been lost…abandoned. In my mind Prince was too far gone to revive and too irrelevant to really matter anymore. Like many in the tennis world, I tuned them out and moved on.

If you follow this blog and my business, you know I am keenly interested in helping players who are experiencing equipment related arm pain. I have been on the Donnay train for a number of years and still recognize them as a legitimate option. I did decide to resell Donnay for a few years, but stopped because they did not sell well and so that I could maintain my objectivity when recommending frames to those coming to me with tennis elbow issues.

One product Donnay failed to offer, and in fact no one offered, was an oversized frame with arm-friendly specifications. Until recently all OS frames available in the USA were frankly too stiff, too light, too head heavy and too long to be reasonable for their intended audience. Last year, Wilson introduced a new line with good flexibility…the Clash series. I was delighted when they added an oversized frame to this series and began referring customers to that frame. The problem is the Clash has different flex points that feel odd to some players. In short, it is a love it or hate it frame. So really not an ideal option.

And then, while doing a spec search recently, I stumbled upon the most pleasant surprise…The Prince Phantom 107G. I was aware Prince came out of bankruptcy, reorganized and introduced a flexible player’s racquet called the Phantom. I was naturally attracted to the specs, (low flex) but of course the head size was too small and power level too low for my OS users. I figured it was a decent frame, but in my mind Prince was literally on life support, so I really paid it very little attention. Little did I know the Phantom line was rapidly expanding and that it was producing a huge variety of options featuring the arm friendliness of the original Phantom.

When I discovered the new Prince Phantom 107G I could not have been any more excited. Headsize 107, 11.4oz strung, Flex 63, length 27″, 7 pts HL, Swingweight 319, 16×19 pattern. For those who may not be familiar…these specs are AMAZINGLY good. An OS arm friendly frame with decent power…FINALLY something I can refer players to consider. FINALLY!!!!

As I read about it, I found myself becoming more immersed in learning about the current Prince lineup. I had no idea what Prince had been up to. Quietly rebuilding. Developing products that make me say “wow…I had no idea.”

Phantom frame after Phantom frame…all possessing awesome specs. Heck, Prince may in fact now offer the best overall line of racquets in the industry, period! The only trouble is…no one knows about them. Virtually no one realizes Prince is clearly out of the dark abyss where they had been mired for many years. Yet, I see it. I believe.

So, knowing that Prince receives very little attention presently and realizing they indeed offer a terrific line of racquets with arm-friendly specs…I decided to become an Official Prince tennis racquet dealer. My demo racquets will arrive next week and I will have them available for my local stringing customers. I intend to promote the brand and sell the frames because I believe they are indeed versatile, arm-friendly and unique.

If you are interested in learning more about the new Prince frames, I’d love to talk with you. For my local customers, I am offering special purchase incentives and DEMOS. For those from afar, feel free to contact me via email or phone (Look us up at ggtennis.com) and we can work something out where I can educate you and offer some string/stringing related incentives if you choose to purchase from us. Prince does not allow us to resell online so you will not find the racquets on our web site. However, we are eager to get these frames into your hands so why not order through us?

Welcome back Prince and welcome to Guts and Glory Tennis!

How Low Can YOU Go? My first experience with an ULTRA Low Tension Poly

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Through the years I have gone from stringing at high tensions (mid to upper 60’s) gradually dropping to accommodate the optimal performance of poly based strings. My current preferred tension is in the low 40’s, (40 – 44)…depending upon playing conditions. I tested mid to upper 30’s but could not really seem to dial things in when stringing in that range so I decided to settle on low 40’s. My journey with lower tension polys began many years ago and I admit…I was skeptical. I fully understood how poly based strings performed better at lower tensions, yet I was afraid. I was afraid of change. Change is hard and it took me a long time to become comfortable with playing at lower tensions and even longer to gain the confidence to push my customers down to the range I was using.

The other day I decided I wanted to revisit my low tension journey. I thought that this time rather than dropping tension a few pounds from my current setup and then slowly moving down in tension I would make a huge jump and then adjust upward as needed. (I already knew that the 30’s wasn’t my cup of tea)

So, in a fit of mad science revelry, I decided I would string ULTRA low. I went with mains at 15 lbs and crosses at 18 lbs, (6.8 & 8.0 kilos respectively). I decided I wanted a profile shaped poly for this so that I could have the most access to spin possible. The string I decided to use for this experiment was a new one my friends at Pro Stringer have developed…their 1.28mm Blue Steel which features a sharp square profile.

When my racquet of choice, (the inimitable Prince Precision Mono), came off the machine I had a 97sq in stick with a 16 x 21 string pattern that was vibrating like crazy as I bounced a couple of balls on the stringbed. I was more than a wee bit concerned so I added 3 dampeners…it helped a little, but I believed the vibrations were probably a wee north of ridiculous. I seriously wondered, “what have I done?” How would I tell my Pro Stringer friends I just totally wasted a set of their prized new string?

Fearful and expecting a complete disaster, I headed out to the courts in the dark of night so no one would see me. I went out by myself with a hopper of balls. I was mentally prepared for a god-awful short session with uncontrolled balls sailing about and perhaps even my right arm falling off from excessive vibration. I was definitely anything but optimistic.

This is where things get weird. And I mean really, really weird. I started my session by stepping to the service line, settling into my pre-service routine and hitting some light serves to loosen up. The balls failed to perform as I had expected and feared. Rather, I found surprising control and SIGNIFICANTLY more comfort than I expected, in spite of the vibration. So I began to ratchet things up…afterall, I’m not known as John “15+MPH on EVERY Serve” Youngblood for nothing.

As I began firing serves I was finding the power coming with ease and more surprising, the ball was being directionally obedient. I started adding spin and slice and was still mastering the session. The hitting sensation/feedback was definitely unique, but hitting full out was not nearly as off putting as just bouncing the ball on the strings. I was actually enjoying the serving session and not finding the limitations I initially feared. Thumbs up to serving!

Next it was time to hit goundies against the wall. Groundies felt pretty good…but I hate hitting against the wall on the courts I was using so I decided to just hit a variety of groundstrokes via the toss/bounce method. This is where I began to get excited. I was able to generate easy spin…not as much as I may have imagined when standing at my stringing machine, but plenty. (I had visions of spaghetti stringing performance…that didn’t happen) I was most struck, by the easy power and control. I could literally swing as hard as physically possible and if clearing the net within a reasonable height of 3′ or less, it really was impossible to hit the ball long. I was most struck by this because I was getting more ball speed than I imagined possible. As noted with serving, the hitting sensation was definitely different, but the vibration was not really bothering me when hitting in this context.

So, now I am anxious to get out and hit against a real live opponent. I will unveil this Frankenstein I have created knowing I will not likely be taking a walk of shame over to my bag to switch back to old faithful. I am wondering, how the racquet will respond to pace being hit at me? I am curious how it will handle net play? Will vibration be unbearable at the net or will it just be something to get used to? I will continue this journey wondering if this is indeed a playable tension? Is it a tension that may actually offer benefits? Lots of questions remain. Stay tuned as I intend to follow up this post with my findings.


A Clamping Revolution: “CLAWS” Add Precision & Passion to Your Stringing Arsenal.

Posted in Guts and Glory Products, Other Equipment, Stringing | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Attention Stringers and Tennis Enthusiasts…
May we have your attention please?

image1 (1)A brand new, highly innovative product has hit the tennis marketplace.  We believe this product offers the potential to change the way you go about stringing; making it easier, more pleasurable and more precise than ever before. Introducing the Pro Stringer Claws!

Nowadays, it is a rare occurrence when new stringing tools are made available to the tennis community.  With the advent of the Pro Stringer Claws, players and stringers will have access to an innovative and arguably superior clamping system.  In terms of flying clamps, the Pro Stringer Claws are changing the game and in a very good way.

Clearly Pro Stringer customers were the intended audience when the Claws were being developed.  The original clamping system was a weak spot in the Pro Stringer ecosphere. In fact, many Pro Stringer users, including myself, opted to invest in and use Stringway flying clamps instead of the clamps included with the original Pro Stringer Platinum package.  Now, with the introduction of Pro Stringer Claws, the clamping system is suddenly on par or superior to any in the stringing world…including fixed clamp systems.  Hold that thought.

So, if you are currently using flying clamps with your stringing system, you may want to take a closer look and consider upgrading from traditional flying clamps to Pro Stringer Claws.  The benefits are many including superior build quality, smooth operation and here is the biggie… “Biangular Precision Technology.”

This patent pending technology is a large part of what makes the Claws special.  As you can see from the image below the center portion of the claw, (PS Claw on right), that touches the strings is angled, and this is wherein the genius lies.  Traditional flying clamps have a fixed width, (see clamp on left), and when the string spacing exceeds this width the flying clamp pinches the two strings together to fit into the predefined spacing.  The net result is a stringbed that has multiple strings out of alignment at the end of the stringing process.  With the Pro Stringer Claws, this spacing is variable and the Claw essentially nestles itself into this string gap and gently caresses the strings while holding them steady without altering their alignment.  It’s incredibly efficient and results in a stringbed that needs very little if any adjusting when the racquet comes off the machine.

Earlier we alluded to the fact that the Pro Stringer Claws produce results as precise or better than any clamping system, including fixed clamps.  This is not a type-o nor the outpouring of a deranged mind.  It is a FACT.  We have tested the Claws vs. the fixed clamping system on our Baiardo and our Babolat Star 5; two high-end professional stringing machines.  The results, as measured by a Babolat Racquet Diagnostic Center (RDC) and a Stringmeter, consistently show stringing with the Claws produce results nearly identical to the fixed clamps.  While RDC stringbed stiffness results off the machine are identical, there is a slight variance when measured at 24 hours off the machine.  Here’s the interesting part…the fixed clamps often show a steeper drop in stringbed stiffness after 24 hours than the Claws.  Also the Stringmeter reveals greater tension consistency across the stringbed in the mains when measuring racquets strung with the Pro Stringer Claws vs. fixed clamps.  These results deserve their own blog entry and we plan to create one in the near future.  We will explain in greater detail why these results are occurring and why Pro Stringer Claws are creating results that are at the upper echelon of consistency.

Sneak preview:  It’s not sorcery, rather the impressive results are baked into the overall experience of using the Pro Stringer Claws.  Hold that thought.

We have long been advocates of stringing with flying clamps.  It is not uncommon for us to go through periods where we remove the fixed clamps from our Baiardo in favor of using flying clamps. We eventually decide to go back, mostly due to not being fans of the disheveled string alignment issue. In time we return to fliers for a bit and then switch back again to fixed clamps.  With the advent of the Pro Stringer Claws, this back and forth dance has ceased.  Once we started testing the Claws, well over 1000 frames ago, we realized there was simply no going back. Our fixed clamps have effectively been banished to a dungeon where they only emerge when a rare OS fan-pattern frame ventures into our shoppe.

The Pro Stringer Claws are constructed of a premium aluminum based alloy.  The weight is approximately 3 oz heavier than traditional plastic flying clamps and 4 oz lighter than other heavy-duty flying clamps.  This makes them easy to use, sturdy, efficient, reliable and able to stand the test of time.

P_20200416_111240_1 The Claws are indeed perhaps the most gorgeous clamps to ever grace the tennis stringing world.  They are also brilliantly constructed.  Polished and refined materials coupled with superior ergonomics lead to an unparalleled user experience. The handle is ultra smooth and contoured to the point you will swear it was custom made to perfectly cradle your thumb. When you clamp off, the click is smooth and nicely dampened.  Users simply tilt and slide the claws into place and then they experience the joy of activating them into locking position. It is a smooth, luxurious and completely unique feel.

Getting back to THAT thought.  In short, the Pro Stringer Claws are the SEXIEST clamps ever made.  Sexy clamps defined as having soul, a tremendous fun factor and enormous versatility.  Most stringing equipment, especially clamps, are utilitarian in nature.  They are efficient, mechanical (soulless) and get the job done.  However, the Claws bring artistry and passion back into the stringing process.  Suddenly stringing becomes an art form as the stringer is more engaged, passionate and connected to the entire experience.  The rote and monotonous motions are replaced with creative flare.  The claws help the stringer transition back in time to an era when tasks were performed by craftspeople with feeling and passion.  Suddenly the stringer is stringing with increased amounts of heart and soul.  It is an exhilarating change leading to results that can not be surpassed.  Best of all, it brings new levels of fun and joy into the stringing process.

We have found the optimal setup consists of 3 clamps.  Yes, 2 can be used, but ideally 2 medium and 1 large will allow stringers to easily handle virtually all possible stringing scenarios. We have thoroughly enjoyed stringing over 1000 frames using this combination and it is the ideal setup we are strongly recommending.

The Pro Stringer Claws are stunning – from design to functionality and way they invigorate and inspire the person lucky enough to be using them.  Are they perfect?  Almost.  We would like to see a more elegant way to adjust the Claws for different gauge strings, but that is a small nuisance.  It just takes a moment with a screwdriver, but we hope one day they will feature a method where they can be adjusted by hand rather than requiring a tool.

Are you ready to add precision, passion and soul into your stringing?  If so, Pro Stringer Claws are available from our web site, click here.  They are also available directly from Pro Stringer.

“BLADES OF GLORY” Calling League And Tournament Players!

Posted in Guts and Glory Announcements, Strings | Comments Off on “BLADES OF GLORY” Calling League And Tournament Players!

bnGuts and Glory Tennis is a leader in optimizing your equipment to enhance your game.  We combine extensive knowledge of our MSV and WeissCANNON string offerings with information about your preferred racquet frame and style of play to design a personal setup that will help you #PlayBetterTennis.  If you are not currently using our strings, we know we can create a custom setup that will not only excite you, but save you considerable money on stringing.  Read on…

As we creep up on retirement age, we are hoping to contribute to the tennis community that we adore in new and exciting ways that will take the current tennis sponsorship paradigm and shake it to the very core.  We are working closely with our partner companies to create a program unique in the world of tennis…and quite frankly long overdue!

Guts and Glory Tennis is delighted to announce that we are seeking tournament and league players of diverse ages, genders, races and skill levels to offer stringing support sponsorships.  Yes, that is correct.  No longer are we only sponsoring select highly ranked juniors and tour level players…rather we are interested in introducing our strings to the players who are the backbone of the sport with various sponsorship packages.  We are seeking influential players on league teams and who play in tournaments.  Players who are genuinely interested in improving their games, helping their teammates/training partners, and saving money on stringing are our target market.  We are looking to create  mutually beneficial sponsorship packages.  If you think you might be interested, please contact us.

We are also keenly interested in supporting tennis stringers of all levels by offering discount buying programs for our WeissCANNON and MSV string products.  If you are offering stringing services and are interested in purchasing at discount levels, we would be eager to work with you and discuss how we can save you money and help you increase your profits per stringing.

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 | 2 Comments

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 […]

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 […]

Tennis Elbow – Our New Approach

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

For 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 […]

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, […]

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.  […]

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