I recently restrung my Head 120 Slimbody into a fan pattern, using Head’s Adaptive Fan Pattern option. For anyone that wants to nerd out a little bit on stringing, I put together this video of how it went.
Here’s a transcript if it helps. This one’s difficult to understand without actually watching the video.
If you aren’t in a place right now where you can play the audio, you could mute the video but turn on subtitles.
What’s up squash players, it’s Pierre. Today we’re gonna try an experiment. I’ve been using the Head 120 Slimbody for a few weeks now and I’ve liked it. This is a good all-around racket. But I’ve just been wanting a little more power and I’ve decided to try the Adaptive Fan stringing pattern. What is that? Well instead of the strings being straight up and down like this, there’s a way to restring this racket so that it’s going to generate a fan stringing pattern and we’re going to see if I can get a little more power and control out of this shaft.
I already restrung this from the factory string. I didn’t love the factory string setup as much as I would have liked so I strung it myself with some 17 gauge string, which is the Squash Galaxy brand string — or 18 gauge string — so I put in some thinner string at 25 pounds which is pretty light and I’m not really getting what I want out of this so I’m just going to try something completely new.
I think I’m going to go for a 17 gauge string so thicker and try a higher tension. I’m probably gonna go more like 27 and I’m gonna try the fan stringing pattern. We’re just gonna do everything differently and then we’re gonna come back and see if it played any better. It’s always worth doing a little experimenting so we’re gonna give that a shot and I will be back in a second with my string job, how it looks, and then after that, how it plays. All right see you, bye!
What’s up guys it’s Pierre and I am back. I’ve strung this in the Adaptive Fan Pattern, AFP pattern, otherwise known as an absolute [ahhhhh]. I had so many struggles getting this right, even though I had Head’s instructions on how to string it.
I should have watched this video by the String Doctor, Jon Sharpe, who strings one of the AFP Head squash rackets on YouTube. I would have learned a couple of things. For one thing it’s not clear from the instructions that when you’re doing this fan pattern you end up having to use the same grommet holes down here and in order to get that to work you basically have to go down, around, up through here, and then loop back around. It’s kind of confusing and especially when you get to the wide parts. You actually don’t end, like on a normal racket, on the last string here. You go outside, loop back in, and then come up here, and then tie off.
It was confusing. It was my first time. It was my first time doing this, so no wonder I had so many issues.
The other thing that I learned from Jon’s video that I did wrong is that I didn’t do a good job making sure that down here, you really want, if you can see, one of these strings is on top and one’s on the bottom and this is a mistake here. The string on the top is actually going over the top of this cross string. Really you want the top string I think to go under the cross so that it makes it a tighter weave. Some of them are correct, like this one, the one on the bottom goes over the top and that is going to just make it tighter and more consistent down here. I wasn’t paying attention to that at all and some of these are screwed up.
This racket, I was laughing at the fact that it is a bit of a pain, but this is an amazing engineering job really. The way that all these grommet holes, which are nicely nested and the strings lay in nicely, actually works for both a traditional stringing pattern and a fan pattern. It’s impressive. The build quality of this is really nice.
Here’s somewhere where I screwed up. It’s hard to see with the black on black on black but I kind of crossed over a string here. And where else did I screw up?
The other thing that was confusing is, okay, so I didn’t realize this until after, on the racket there’s a little “L” and a little “R” for left and right and you’re supposed to lay the racket down on the stringing machine with the L on the left and the R on the right and the Head text here and the Head logo pointing up. So be stringing it like this. I actually strung it the upside down way, which ended up being lucky, because the way that the instructions described tying off the cross string is you come through here, around back, and then you go down and tie it off down here, and if I had had the racket in the correct orientation, it would have come back and crossed over this. It’s a little hard to see in the camera but it wouldn’t have slotted in correctly. It would have been on the outside of the raised part of this grommet here. It would have been untidy.
I learned from watching Jon’s video two things. Number one I could have just gone up here and tied up here even though that’s not what Head’s instructions say. I could have done it that way if I put it on the correct way to begin with. But he actually has a different solution. You can watch his video for all the details of that but he actually — he would put it on the correct way — he actually would come across here, go down here, and then come back up here, and then tie it off right here. So anyway that’s a little bit of creativity that’s some next-level thinking that I’ll have to try out next time.
All in all, this is gonna work. This is gonna be fine. It might not be up to professional grade, but I’m still pretty happy with how this turned out. We’ll see if it’s a little too tense. I did it at 27 pounds with Tecnifibre DYNAMIX V.P. 17 gauge. Might be a little tight because I think with this dense stringing pattern it’s already making it kind of tight. We’ll see, but I wanted to just mix it up from what I had before and we’ll see how this plays on court. I ran out of time in part because this took so long to string, in part because there was a snowstorm and I had to shovel my car out and my driveway and my walkway and I’m tired. So we’re just gonna do this next time and we’re gonna see in a future video. We’re gonna let you know how my slightly messed up AFP fan pattern plays on the squash court. We’ll see you see you later. Bye.