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A Beginner’s Guide to On-the-Spot Racquet Stringing

Our On-the-Spot Racquet Stringing program is very popular. Simply bring your racquet into our store any Sunday afternoon from 1:00-4:00pm and we will string it while you wait for just $20.00, string and labour included. It’s a great program that has saved a lot of squash, tennis, badminton and racquetball players a lot of money since we introduced it in 2017.

Not everybody is happy about it, though. There are some people who try to game the system and end up genuinely upset when we stop them from getting their way. The purpose of this article is to let everybody know the rules so that we can prevent problems before they happen.



Rule #1 – Nobody Gets Special Treatment

All of the rules are fair. They apply equally to everyone. There are no exceptions. Every week, for example, we have somebody who comes in a few hours early and tries to drop their racquet off. “I’ll be back to pick it up later,” they say. “No. No. No. No. No,” we say. “Nobody takes short cuts. We don’t allow that.” So they end up leaving angry.

Rule #2 – Sign Up Starts at 12:45pm

The sign up rules have been set in stone since Day One of this program. Sign ups must be in person and first come first serve. If the racquet you are getting strung was purchased from us, you can sign up anytime after 12:45 pm. If you did not purchase the racquet from us, you can sign up anytime after 1:00 pm. If you are not in the room when we call your name, we move on to the next person.

Common questions about this… All answered no … Can I sign up early? Can I sign up over the phone? Can I reserve a spot? Can my friend sign me up? Can I leave my racquet here now and come back after 1:00 when it is done? Like we said. The answers to all of these questions is no. So please don’t ask.



Rule #3 – Do Not Leave the Store

Another common question: can I leave the racquet with you and come back later? Again, if you want on-the-spot stinging the answer is no. If you want to run out to the bathroom or go get a coffee, that’s OK. But this is a stringing-while-you-wait program. Not a drop-it-off-and-pick-it-up-later program. If you leave, we will take your racquet off the stringing machine and move on to the next customer.

Rule #4 – No Outside String

Would you take your own meat into a steakhouse and ask the chef to cook it for you so you can save some money? Would you take your own rice to a Chinese restaurant or your own bread to a deli? Of course not. So please don’t bring string to our stringing store. We sell string. More than 150 different kinds of string. More than anybody else in Calgary.



Rule #5 – One Racquet Per Person

Each person is limited to one racquet per day. If you have two racquets to do, you can come on two different Sundays. Nobody walks in with an arm full of racquets and forces everybody behind them to wait. This is a firm limit. One racquet per person per Sunday. No exceptions. So don’t ask.



Parting Thoughts

We started our On-the-Spot Racquet Stringing program so that we could get to know our customers and so that our customers could get to know us a little better. That tends to happen when people spend an hour or two together every few months. However, not everyone is equally good at waiting. In fact, even the idea of waiting is enough to make some people grumpy. If you are one of those people, we strongly suggest our “Just the Basics” racquet stringing program. It’s the same result, without having to wait around the store.

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Calgary Interclub Squash League Programs

Racquet Network is highly supportive of Calgary Interclub Squash League, Squash Alberta and other non-profit squash groups in Calgary. If you visit us in-store you will see that we do not hesitate to promote the league to squash players who are looking for places to play. We also support Calgary Interclub Squash League squash players through the programs and opportunities described below.

Fundraising for the CISL

Racquet Network helps the CISL and other non-profit squash associations raise funds by allowing players to donate a percentage of their online purchases. Our generous sponsorship program allows players who purchase a variety of things online, such as racquets, shoes, bags, and stringing services, to indicate their affiliation with the Calgary Interclub Squash League during the checkout process. Once each year, the CISL can use these credits to purchase prizes for tournament and equipment for their league.

Free Racquet Stringing

Once every calendar year, the CISL and Squash Alberta are eligible to name one active player/volunteer who is eligible for free stringing services. That player is then given free stringing service on all personal racquets strung during the calendar year.

We even have a program that allows coaches and parents of junior players with financial needs access to our stringing machines after hours so that they can string racquets for free on their own.

Cheap Racquet Stringing

Players who have not made a significant contribution to the growth of Calgary Interclub Squash League or other squash clubs in Calgary are required to pay the usual fees for stringing services, but that doesn’t mean they have to pay full price for custom stringing services every time they come in. In fact, we offer a number of low-price options for Calgary Interclub Squash League members.

In addition to the programs above, we also donate a percentage of stringing services booked online to the Calgary Interclub Squash League. Our best know economy option is our Stringing-On-the-Spot program which runs from 5:00-8:00pm every weekday. We also offer a “Just the Basics” program and another program for frequent squash string breakers.

Surprise Bonuses

Calgary Interclub Squash League members who frequent our On-the-Spot stringing program, are sometimes surprised to find out that we have deducted an additional 20% to 100% off of their already low stringing bill. We call these unannounced Customer Appreciation nights and we hold them once a week every week.

During these random, unannounced customer appreciation events, we check five major review sites while we are stringing each customer’s racquet. If we see positive reviews that match the customer’s name, we knock off 20% for each. This is our way of showing our appreciation for customers who are out there saying nice things about us.

Bulk Stringing

Schools, groups and squash clubs, like Calgary Interclub Squash League, can enjoy the benefit of strength in numbers because they can access our bulk stringing programs.

Simply place your order for string and labour through our website and then drop the racquets off. We will notify you by email when the racquets are ready for pickup.

Custom Stringing

Price is not everything, though. Most CISL players still want custom stringing so that they can have their racquet customized to their individual specifications. Therefore we also offer custom. The good news is that players who want custom stringing always have the option of pre-ordering online and getting online discounts that are not available to walk in customers. Pre-ordering online also allows players to choose to donate a percentage of their order to the Calgary Interclub Squash League.

Whatever your squash racquet stringing needs, Racquet Network can help. We offer more options at more price points than anybody else in Calgary. Whether you want it cheap, fast, generic or customized, we have the answer. And if you help us build our business, we will help you save even more in return.

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Custom Stringing vs Discount Stringing

Squash Stringing Services
Stringing Services
Ian asks: “Why does custom stringing cost more than discount stringing?”

The one-word answer is: efficiency.

Discount stringing customers save money because they have fewer options. Our stringers can stack up a bunch of discount stringing racquets for five or six days and then bang them all out at the same time without having to stop and reset custom machine tension and custom string options like they do when they do custom stringing. Efficiency saves time. Time is money.

When professional technicians are doing custom racquet stringing, on the other hand, the process is much slower. It is a more careful and deliberate process. Racquet technicians don’t just bang out custom string jobs. They are required to stop and check the custom spec sheet before starting every racquet.

Then…

They strip the racquet of all string and head tape. They clean the frame, remove all tape residue and inspect it. They check to see if any grommets are missing and formulate a repair plan. Often, at this point, they have to stop and call the customer to consult with them about how they want their grommets repaired.

Once they have mapped out the road ahead, including repairs, they set up the string and the tension on the machine and start weaving. When they are done weaving and repairing, they have another stringer verify the weave and the repairs to ensure that everything is perfect. If any flaws are found in the weave or the repairs, they back up and correct everything before tying off.

Once the racquet is done, they enter the notes in the customer file and notify the customer by email. All of this takes time and expertise, but it guarantees that we meet customer specifications exactly.

In short, custom stringing is a craft while discount stringing is an assembly line. Racquet Network is happy to offer both stringing options to our customers.

Custom Stringing vs Discount Stringing Table

CUSTOM DISCOUNT
String options Choose from all strings None
Colour options Choose from all colours None
Tension options Choose from full range None
Grommet repairs Minor repairs included free None
Head tape removal Included free None
Frame cleaning Included free None
Service Options
  • online option
  • in store option
  • online only
  • racquetnetwork.com
Turnaround options
  • one hour
  • one day
  • one week
  • one week
Notifications By email None
Early pickup options Permitted Not permitted
Warranty options Two weeks (labour only) None
Sponsorship credits Automatic with online orders None