Alternative Income Idea: Stringing Tennis Rackets

by Scott on September 9, 2008

Stringing Tennis Rackets
photo credit: The Passive Dad
If you play tennis weekly or enjoy hitting hard top spin shots, you have probably had to have your rackets restrung several times. Tired of paying a club or someone else for a tennis restring? Instead of paying $20-40 to have someone string your tennis racket next time, now you can do it yourself. Wondering what type of tennis jobs are available in your city or town? Want to learn how to string tennis racquets and earn some income too? It’s much easier than you realize and you can teach yourself in a few hours time. Stringing tennis rackets can be a fantastic alternative income idea for tennis fans. How much can you make an hour? $20 and more. If you are looking for local tennis openings or tennis jobs near your home, you might want to consider stringing rackets for extra income.

I started playing tennis when I was 8 and it took me 5 years to break my first string. Once I started high school and began hitting the ball harder and with more topspin, the strings started to pop frequently. My high school racket was a Pro Kennex that cost $49.99 in 1990. The cost of a tennis restring with 16 gauge synthetic gut was $35. The true cost of the synthetic gut was actually closer to $3 or $4 and the rest was labor.

In 1990 I was not fortunate to have the internet or tools to research tennis string machines. The local pro shop at the country club was my only alternative for our high school team. In prior years, they had a student who would string rackets and offer a substantial savings for the team. Here’s where the business idea started. I subscribed to Tennis magazine and saw ads for several expensive string machines that would cost in excess of $1,000. At 14 years old, I was not about to have the $1,000 needed for a state of the art pro shop quality machine like a gamma stringer or prince stringer. I did see an ad for a Klippermate that cost less than $200 and was advertised as an easy to use, drop weight machine. A few days later I opened my package from Klipper and got to work stringing rackets for our high school team.

In 1990 I was not able to utilize YouTube videos teaching tennis stringing techniques, so I had to rely on the manual that came with the Klippermate. It took me 2 hours to string my first racket, as I had to learn about the string pattern and knot tie off points, tension, and the art of tying a knot. Tying knots is really not difficult, it just appears to be a little intimidating at first. My second racket took 45 minutes, and my fastest time is around 25 minutes using the Klippermate. I used to travel with my stringer in my car and take it down to the tennis courts to work on my friends rackets. What did I charge them? I was a nice guy, and covered my expense for the string and some of my time and charged $5. I know, the local pro shop charged $35, but these were my buddies.

Today I still have a Klippermate and love it. Tennis stringers like the Klippermate can be easy to use, doesn’t require a stand, it’s portable, inexpensive, and fun. Don’t feel overwhelmed by string tension or knots as they are easy to learn and you will quickly get the hang of it. After just a couple restrings you will know what tension you enjoy in your racket. It’s a blast saving money, and you can actually make a business out of your tennis stringer. I currently still string for friends and only charge for the string. Current rates for stringing are still $20+ at your local pro shop or retail store, so the opportunity to build a tennis stringing business is huge.

Where would I advertise if I wanted to create alternative income from stringing tennis rackets?

1. Craigslist You can advertise for your local area or if you commute to work, like San Francisco, you can offer to pickup rackets.

2. Business cards Create a business card and hand it out next time you play tennis. Leave some at you local park tennis courts or even Starbucks. Vista Print is a great resource for inexpensive business cards. Be creative and add some graphics to make your business stand out.

3. Word of mouth Offer to string some rackets at your local high school for free. This could be a great community outreach opportunity and gain some business from parents. Offer each student a free tennis stringing and show off your new talent.

Stringing tennis rackets might sound interesting, but are you still unsure of your ability? Don’t worry, it’s not rocket science. I have friends that come over and look at me stringing tennis rackets like I’m undergoing brain surgery. Yes, you do have a few parts like clamps, stringer awl, and pliers, but they are really easy to use. The hardest part about stringing tennis rackets can be reading the directions. You get so excited that you want to dive in and start stringing right away. Just take a few minutes to read the directions and you will save a lot of time.

Stringing tennis rackets can be a wonderful alternative income for yourself and your family. You can make $20+ an hour and your income potential is unlimited. If you attend college, you could string rackets in your dorm room for extra income. High school students can bring the stringer to the tennis courts and string after school for money. My favorite multitasking tip for tennis stringers is to watch tv and string at the same time. You can watch your favorite tv program and make money stringing tennis rackets. Lot’s of people are looking for the perfect work at home business and this could certainly allow you to start one for very little money. My total cost for the Klippermate and string was under $200. Add some business cards from Vista Print and a listing on Craigslist and you’re set. Remember to hand out those cards the next time you play singles or doubles tennis. If you currently string rackets, I would love to hear what your fastest time is and how much you charge your customers? Do you have a tennis business or stringing business already? How are you doing?

Do you have an extra income idea you would like to share? Maybe you sew, woodwork, or have a handy service you provide neighbors for extra income? Turning tennis basics into a lucrative tennis stringing business can provide you with some great spending money and pay for your tennis hobby, or it can provide some wonderful extra income for your savings account.

Some helpful videos on Youtube showing how to string tennis racquets:

Preparing the tennis string
Mounting the tennis racket

Stringing the mains

Racket stringing machines and tennis sports equipment:

Klipper USA
Tennis Gamma stringers
Prince tennis stringers
Eagnas stringing machines
Tennis liquidmetal Head string
Gut tennis string

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 jj-momscashblog September 9, 2008 at 8:04 pm

Hey Scott, You have to be one very multi-tasking person. I think you have done some sort of job here and there. I love the fact that you even string tennis rackets!!! You are a good working man….how about the U.S. Tennis Openings did you watch the whole thing? I watched the very special ones, like my guy Nadal or Nadel I just think he’s a cutie and I guess he’s good at tennis too. lol Great post and great way to make extra money.

2 passivefamilyincome September 10, 2008 at 4:18 am

Scott – I nominated you for the ‘Pay It Forward’ award for PF Bloggers on my site. Thanks for all the great articles and good advice!

3 Scott September 10, 2008 at 1:01 pm

@ JJ

I do enjoy multi-tasking and have a lot of pokers in the fire. Mr. Nadal aka Rafa is an amazing player to watch. He just didn’t have enough to win this year at the U.S. Open.

@ PFI

Thanks for the award. You made my day! I’ll be sure to pay it forward to 5 other bloggers.

4 heidi September 10, 2008 at 10:25 pm

You always have the best ideas. I had never heard of the Klipper before and I tried tennis and had a good laugh at how bad I was. Love your ideas on how to promote your business!!

5 Scott September 11, 2008 at 10:11 am

@ Heidi You should give tennis another try. You can involve your kids and help them work on hand-eye coordination. My kids love to go out on the front lawn and practice hitting tennis balls.

6 Mark of The Tennis Social Network December 24, 2008 at 1:49 pm

Scott, this is a super blog post. And I’ve found that more sooner than later, every racquet stringer I know has had more jobs on his/her hands than they can handle. I think my readers would enjoy it. May I repost it at http://tennisopolis.com and link back here?
Thanks,
Mark
Tennisopolis : The Tennis Social Network

7 Ryan August 8, 2009 at 7:53 pm

My avg time to string a racquet is 20 minutes. My very 1st racquet took me over an hour! But once I got the hang of it, it came quite natually. I am about to invest in a new Eagnas stringer.

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