It’s amazing how often you’ll be at a gig and see an expensive guitar hanging around someone’s neck on the most boring or downright unsuitable strap. We get it – there’s no shortage of exciting things for us guitar players to spend our money on, but you wouldn’t drop a small fortune on a sharp new suit and then pair it with a battered pair of old moccasins, would you? A good guitar deserves a good strap to match, and more importantly, do you really want your pride and joy to be held inplace by something that doesn’t inspire confidence?
The subject of inspiring confidence brings us to Pinegrove Leather – a small company based in the picturesque market town of Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire, which has been producing a series of cleverly designed leather goods for musical instruments since 2012.
The world of boutique strap makers is an increasingly crowded one, but Pinegrove founder Rod Boyes believes that he has something that sets his designs apart: real world experience. Rod is a musician with decades of gigs under his (finely crafted) belt, and he brings that practical knowledge to each design, giving rise to the company’s ‘by musicians, for musicians’ mantra.
Each Pinegrove strap is hand-made using the highest quality materials, and Rod is so confident in the craftmanship and quality of his straps, he offers a lifetime guarantee for each one. Pinegrove will be new name to many of us, so we’ve decided to take a look at three of its most popular designs here – the old-school GS25, the clean and classy GS61, and the eye-catching two-tone GS60.
Upon removing the straps from their cotton presentation bags, it’s clear Rod’s boasts about Pinegrove’s workmanship and materials are not idle. The leather is of an exceptionally high quality, and the stitching and build is neat and robust – notably on the red GS60, with its distinctive cream insert and tip.
All three straps have a tanned leather top with a thick cow suede backing for grippiness. As anyone who’s been clocked by a guitar slipping on its strap will know all too well, this is important in a gig situation, and all three Pinegrove straps keep things balanced and stable – even with a peskily neck-heavy Firebird.
The fruits of Rod’s musician’s background are most evidence in the GS25 – this one-inch strap is thicker than many vintage-style examples, making it more reassuring, while it also features a unique leather sheath around the adjustment studs, meaning that the metal bits can’t damage the finish on your guitar.
Our pick of the bunch is GS61 – ruggedly understated with its oiled leather upper and gold stitching, the double-padded design is among the most comfortable straps we’ve ever used – we’d have no trepidation taking on a two-hour set with it.
Our only mild gripe is that all three straps are a little on the short side if you’re taller than average, or like your guitar slung low. Thankfully, each Pinegrove strap can be customised to be longer, shorter, and even incorporate wider pinholes to accommodate
various strap button designs, should you so desire – nice.
Pinegrove Leather GS25 Guitar Strap
• PRICE £59
• DESCRIPTION Vintage-style full-grain vegetable-tanned Italian leather adjustable guitar strap with non-scratch secure adjustment system. Made in the UK
• DIMENSIONS 41”-55”
• COLOURS Black, brown, black/cream stitch, tan/cream stitch (reviewed)
Pinegrove Leather GS60 Two-tone Guitar Strap
• PRICE £69
• DESCRIPTION Padded full-grain leather adjustable guitar strap. Made in the UK
• DIMENSIONS 38”-52”
• COLOURS Black/cream, blue/cream, red/cream (reviewed)
Pinegrove Leather GS61 Padded Guitar Strap
• PRICE £55
• DESCRIPTION Double-padded oiled leather adjustable guitar strap. Made in the UK
• DIMENSIONS 38”-52”
• COLOURS Cherry red, denim blue, Havana brown, black (reviewed)
• CONTACT Pinegrove Leather 07973 154888, www.pinegroveleather.com