The Universal Around the World String Pattern – How To Do and Why to Use
Swivel Clamps (you’ll have clamps in the mains and crosses at the same time)
Starting Clamp (to hold the top cross)
Around the World – When is it Appropriate?
When you are doing a one piece string job and your mains end in the throat.
Around the World – The Method
If you’re using a reel measure out the appropriate amount of string based on the head size and pattern. In the demo video I am using a racket with a 100 head size and 16 X 19 pattern. I pulled approximately 33ft of string and still had some string to spare.
From there measure out your short side. In this case I measured out about 9ft and marked it off with a pen. You’ll need a little less string on your short side than you would normally since you’ll be substituting the first cross for the final main. For beginners marking off your short side is a great way to not get messed up when initially passing your string through.
Begin your mains as you normally would and finish your mains on the long side as you normally would.
On the short side string all the mains except for the last one (the one that would normally end in the throat). Instead string the first cross pull tension and hold tension with your starting clamp.
On the long side string the final cross and clamp. If you have a 19 crosses (or any odd number) be sure that you match the weaving pattern of the first cross. If you have 20 crosses (or any even number) be sure that your weaving pattern is opposite. This all makes sense when you finish the racket and ensures that your weaving is correct (alternating with each cross).
String the final main with the long side (you’ve now gone around the world) and clamp with the same clamp you just used.
From there complete your crosses as you normally would. One benefit is that you’ll have some flexibility on your tie off at the end (in the throat). I typically tie off where the main goes but there is no hard or fast.
Around the World – Why (Advantages)
The first reason is if someone requests a one piece string job/aka they request 2 knots and the mains are ending in the throat. Remember that if the mains are ending in the head you just do a normal 1 piece pattern. You don’t need to do anything fancy. That being said with most high performance frames the mains end in the throat. Why someone would ask you to do this is anyone’s guess. Pro players are often given a 4 knot or 2 knot option on their restring forms at tournaments. You might wonder why 1 piece versus 2 and personally I think it just boils down to what you’re used to. The racket will feel marginally different but for me personally I have no strong feelings. In theory the 1 piece should produce a higher dynamic tension but at the end of the day that’s more dependent on your stringer than the method.
The second reason is string saving off a reel. If you know what you’re doing you can definitely save a fairly substantial amount of string using this method. When you have 4 knots (and for the sake of this article you’re using a starting clamp to start your crosses) that’s 4 ends of string that need to reach the tension head. With 2 knots that’s 2 ends. It really is that simple.
The third reason would be necessity. Occasionally I’ll get those massively oversized rackets and packet of string (the most recent case was with Prince Duraflex). That is not a super elastic string and if I did 2 piece I would need to be very careful about measuring out the string and probably would be forced to use a bridge on the mains. When in doubt about string length I’ll go one piece around the world and that’s always worked for me.
Around the World – Why Not (Disadvantages)
Like any one piece string job the amount of string you need to pass through on the long side can be extremely obnoxious. With experience handling different strings the issues will lessen but no doubt it’s more cumbersome. I’ve done one piece string jobs using certain polyesters that have a tendency to tangle and coil and it can really try your patience.
Even though your still going head to throat a two piece string job ultimately puts less stress on the frame. This is the primary reason why two piece stringing is often recommended by racket manufacturers. If you’re stringing technique is good it’s really not an issue but it is something to take note of.
Universal Around the World Conclusions
A lot like finishing knots every stringer has their default method of doing things. My default is two piece stringing because I just find the process to be a lot easier. Other people will find that one piece is ideal. At the end of the day there is no right or wrong it’s all based on the situation. Someone who takes racket stringing seriously should know how to do the Universal Around the World Pattern but by no means should you be radically adjusting your default stringing method without just cause.