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Tuesday, October 09, 2012 The Importance of a Restringing Regimen

Tennis Racquet Stringer

There is a movement afoot in the tennis industry encouraging players to restring their racquets more often. Is it a fallacy, a rip-off, or the right thing to do?

Why Restring, Anyway? You might be right to ask that question. If your strings aren’t broken or too loose, why replace them? There are several reasons why you might need to restring.

Weather, Court Surface and Location: If you play outdoors on hard courts during the spring, summer and fall, then switch to indoor clay during the winter, for example, you’ve made a large change in playing conditions that can make an adjustment in string type and/or tension necessary for you to play your best. Some folks spend the summer in cooler, drier northern climates and the winter in the warmer, more humid South. Once again, a large change in conditions should require a change in stringing.
Tennis in the snow

Frayed Strings

Natural Breakdown: All string materials have bonds between them, and the stresses of stringing and play break them down. As these bonds weaken, the string loses resilience (i.e. its ability to return to its original length as the ball leaves), which is a major component of string power and comfort. Believe it or not, this is happening even while your racquet is sitting in your bag between matches. The strings are under tension, which stresses the fibers and the bonds between them. If you go long periods without playing, it would be advisable to restring your racquet before taking the court again.

Frequency of Play: Back in the 1980’s, players were advised to restring per year the same number of times they played per week; if you play twice a week, restring twice per year, and so on. With the knowledge we’ve gleaned since then, this rule of thumb is insufficient.

Strings begin breaking down and losing their playability as soon as the racquet leaves the stringing machine. Major manufacturers now advise replacing strings every 40 hours of play, which should be the maximum for higher-level players. If you play 3 times per week for 2 hours at a time, for example, this would put you at a restringing schedule of once every 7 weeks.

Professional players restring before every match and often break out a fresh racquet at each ball change. While the average club player is not as sensitive as a pro, the message they send us is clear - strings are important, and the fresher, the better.

woman with tennis racquet and ball
Tennis Elbow

Injuries: If you suffer from elbow, shoulder, or wrist injuries, the condition of your strings should be the most important thing in your tennis world. If your strings lose enough life, you could be in for more than a painful loss. Speak with your racquet technician about setting up an appropriate stringing schedule based on mutual experience to minimize pain and discomfort.

In Conclusion: We’ve learned a lot about how strings work and react over the last 20 years or so. We’ve developed new fibers, designed hybrid string sets, and made great discoveries on how tight to string racquets. The last frontier for club players is the understanding that, no matter how advanced or expensive our strings are, they do wear out. In short, an unbroken string is not necessarily a good string. Work with a reputable racquet technician in your area, or talk to us here at Tennis Express about the best string, tension, and replacement schedule to maximize your game. Call 1-800-833-6615 to speak to a racquet stringing specialist.

Tennis Racquet Stringer


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