Starting out your tennis career on a budget and looking to understand the ways to protect your tennis racquet to ensure its last long? Here’s our lowdown on whether playing tennis in rain reduces the racquet’s life.
Years ago when we played tennis with wooden racquets, players would run inside at the first raindrop. Old fashioned wooden tennis racquets could warp out of shape pretty quickly and not only did players keep their tennis racquets out of the rain, but they kept them in tennis presses so they would keep their shape.
If you are a slightly older tennis player, you will remember those old-fashioned presses. If you are a younger tennis player, you are likely confused and do not even know that wooden tennis racquets existed.
What Materials are Tennis Racquets Made Of?
Few tennis rackets today are made of wood. The materials used in racquets today, and of course it differs per brand, but mostly tennis frames are made of aluminium and steel, both of which are extremely durable.
The materials of frames include light weight graphite or composites or graphite, including titanium fibre glass or kevlar. These are all pretty durable materials, meaning they are also quite water resistant, unlike the wooden racquets of yesteryear.
Saying that, remember that a racquet consists of more than just a frame. There are strings, which are usually made of gut, either natural or nylon. And then there is the tennis racquet grip, which is either leather or a synthetic style leather or fabric.
What Does This Mean When It Comes to Rain?
Tennis is not a game that is designed for rain. Whereas football will continue in a rainstorm, or even in a snowstorm, tennis is usually called off when it starts rain.
A light drizzle is okay to play tennis in, but a heavier rainstorm is not. This is for a number of reasons:
- Safety to the tennis player
- Surface of the tennis court becomes slippery
- The game can be dangerous
- Discomfort to the players
- Discomfort to the spectators and
- Water damage to a tennis racquet
You might be wondering why tennis gets called off in the rain but not football.
Football is played on natural turf. It is slippery but players will be flying around, or falling around, on the grass and mud, natural surfaces.
Tennis is played on clay, a hard surface, concrete, or hard grass. The lines are slippery. There are a lot of turns in direction involved in quick-time in tennis and the knees take a lot of the brunt. On wet, slippery surfaces, this could be badly damaging to the body.
The gear, tennis balls and racquets, are not designed for water.
Tennis Racquets and Water
If your tennis racquet does get wet, it makes sense to dry it immediately.
Professional tennis players carry towels with them, not just to wipe their sweaty brows but also to wipe their racquets.
Tennis grips can get slippery in the rain. They get slippery just from sweat. While a good leather tennis racquet grip is going to be durable, a synthetic tennis racquet grip is not as durable.
Rather look after your racquet, no matter which brand it is, and if it gets wet, dry it off immediately. This goes for the frame too.
Even though your tennis racquet frame is made of graphite (aluminium or steel or a combination), it can absorb water if the water is heavy. Tennis should not be played in the rain.
Racquet Technology Has Evolved
It is quite true that tennis racquet technology has evolved over the decades.
Racquets today, the good brands, are light and they are strong and a good racquet should last you for a very long time.
Beginner tennis players or young players often outgrow their racquet, not because the racquet is not good but because they need a bigger one or a heavier one, as they grow.
Even though technology is amazing, and you no longer play with wooden racquets or need racquet presses, you should still look after your tennis racquet.
A few ways to look after your tennis racquet:
- Keep it in a tennis cover, between matches
- Keep your racquet, in its cover, in a tennis bag.
- Do not bash it on the ground in a fit of temper!
- Do not throw your racquet across the court, out of frustration.
- Do not slam it on the net, in anger!
- If it gets dirty or muddy, clean it off.
- If it gets wet, dry it immediately with a towel.
- Do not play tennis in the rain.
Tennis racquets are not cheap, and even if they were, it’s important to look after them. We mentioned all things you should not do – bashing, throwing or beating your racquet – but that is not just about the racquet.
Note that tennis is a gentlemen’s game and while it can be a frustrating game, learning to keep your frustrations in check is a discipline. You never see a professional player mishandling their racquet, and if they do, they get a big fine.
In the same way you should look after your tennis racquet, which includes not playing tennis in the rain, you should manage your temper or frustrations. Although to be honest, that could be the subject of a whole other tennis article!
Tennis Racquets and Waterproofing
We all know there are a ton of well-known tennis racquet brands. They all use innovative technology and are durable and strong. If you look online at the qualities of a racquet, each one has different and incredible qualities.
What the qualities do not include are ‘fully waterproof’ because tennis racquets are just not designed for the rain. While a little bit of water on your racquet is okay, it must be dried off quickly.
And a lot of water is just not good for your tennis racquet, irrespective of the brand.
Final Words on Playing Tennis in the Rain
Play tennis in summer, spring, winter and in the fall. Play in the sun, the shade, the day or the night. Play in a light drizzle, for a short time. But do not play tennis in the rain!