If you’ve had your racket strung at Rackets & Runners in the last 15 years, chances are you’ve had it done by our man, Bryan. As the head of our Racket Department, Bryan has strung over 75,000 rackets over the course of his career. He’s a staple of our store’s character, and a specialist in the racket sports industry with an encyclopedia of knowledge in tennis, squash, badminton, and pickleball. We caught up with Bryan to hear about his day to day, his career as a stringer and what life’s been like during the pandemic.
How long have you been with Rackets & Runners?
How’d you get into stringing?
Before Rackets & Runners I was the head service check at Sportchek. As part of the job I had to become a certified bike, ski and racket technician. It was just another part of my job at the time but I grew a knack for it. Over the years it’s become therapeutic and methodical—I live my life a racket at a time and in that 10 min or less nothing else matters.
On a typical day at the store how many rackets do you string?
Depends on the day, but anywhere from 12-30 rackets.
What’s the fastest you’ve ever strung a racket?
8min and 30s
Have you strung for anyone on the tour before?
I was a stringer at Odlum Brown Vancouver Open for 4 years and got a chance to string for some big names there. I’ve strung for Francesca Schiavone, a French Open Champion, who said I was a really good stringer. But I’ve also strung for Marcos Baghdatis and most of the Davis Cup team including Vasek Pospisil.
What’s life been like for you during the pandemic? Has your daily routine changed at all? Has it impacted your work?
Luckily tennis has been one of the few sports not really impacted by the pandemic. In terms of procedures at work, we had to introduce a few things to limit the spread of the virus. We started wrapping the tennis grips with plastic wrap to keep both our staff and customers safe. But beyond that we’ve been very fortunate that people are still able to play tennis. A lot more folks are taking up tennis these days so our stringing load is above normal—but all good things. In terms of my life, I’ve made some big changes to my eating and workout habits and I’ve lost a bunch of weight.
Ya, you look fantastic these days! Could you take us through a typical day in the life of Bryan?
I’ve always been a big fan of Mark Wahlberg and then with two boys I’ve had to carve out time in my day to work on myself. So I’ve adopted a bit of Mark’s 4:00am workout regiment. I typically get up at 4am and then work out at home (both weights and cardio) before the kids get up. At 6:00am I’ll get the kids up and get them prepped for their day and school. Around 8:30am I’ll drop the kids off at school and then will be at the store around 9:00am. From there onwards it's about prepping the rackets for the day and getting the shop ready for 10:00am opening. From 10am to 5:30pm it's pretty standard, stringing all day and helping customers. I usually get home around 6pm, get some dinner in with the family and then family time till bed around 8pm. Not the most glamorous days, but it’s a routine I’ve gotten into the past year and it’s been really working for me.
What’s your favourite string combination?
Full RPM - 50
Favourite racket of all time?
Pure Storm Limited
Lastly, since we know you’re a big Mark Wahlberg fan— if you were to embody one character from HBO’s Entourage who would that be and why?
I would probably be ‘E’ because I feel like I’m a grinder, always working every angle. And if in the end it doesn't work out I know I’ll always have the pizza parlour.
Need a racket restrung?
Book a racket stringing and watch Bryan do his magic.