If you are a serious tennis player, and by serious one isn’t referring to just playing at a professional level here, but if you play it regularly and are competitive enough to think about your game, then one of the things you might have wondered at one or the other point in your tennis ‘career’. Why do tennis players change their racquet strings and when does one know it’s time to change those strings?
Depending on whom you ask, you will get different answers, starting from that age-old saying, “re-string your racquet as many times in a year as the number of days you play every week”. However, more than an exact number of times players need to restring their racquets, it is pertinent for players to look out for the reasons why tennis racquets need to be restrung and based on that, choose their own preferred frequency.
Obviously the above point is moot if a racquet string breaks; unless you are playing at a club where they allow you to continue playing with broken strings, you would then have to restring immediately. In fact even if it’s not in the club’s explicit rules, it doesn’t make sense to continue playing with broken strings for starters.
However, moving on to the scenario where you want to understand when should normal racquet strings be restrung even if there’s not been any breakages, here’re some of the reasons why this needs to be done from time to time.
String Tennis Loss
Strings lose tension as soon as they are used by a player and keeping losing it even after having reached their stable point.
In the first few moments of starting out with a string, some of them can lose 20 pounds of tension in the first 20 hits, but it then stabilises to its most optimum, stabilised value for a while. There is a decreased rate of tension loss with more hits once an optimum level has been reached but slowly and steadily it then reaches a level where it’s difficult to play with those strings.
Every player would have a different response to when they feel that level has reached which is why it’s best a regular change in strings is cultivated as a habit.
Loss of String Purpose
There are different types of tennis racquet strings, and each of the types solve a certain purpose. For instance, if playability is the chief reason behind the choice of your string and it begins to lose that with time, then it’s time for the racquet to be restrung. Some strings are used to optimise for the slice, others for their topspin, and with age, the string purpose gets eroded and that begins to show in its performance.
This is a gradual process – you wouldn’t notice the changes overnight – and that’s why it’s best to keep restringing your racquet at regular intervals.
Avoiding Change in Technique
The aforementioned two changes to strings could be gradual in nature and seep into a player’s technique. Players could end up trying to adapt to the changed string tension with a changed technique, which in turn could come at a cost.
For instance, the need to increase the power could end up getting compensated by the loss of accuracy and an overall lowering quality of the game. Worse still, prolonged such play could also lead to injury concerns.
The most ideal scenario from a technique point of view is to have the same racquet with the similar string tension, and in the absence of this ideal situation, best is to employ regular restringing of the racquets.
Improving Comfort Levels
Since newly-strung racquets reduce the shock on the body, it helps increasing the comfort levels. The opposite is also true. Not stringing the racquets regularly could lead to a decreased comfort in playing tennis.
Some tennis racquet strings are specially made for tennis elbows but with time, even that could lose the comfort associated with it with time. Which is why it becomes absolutely necessary to ensure from the point of view of one’s fitness, especially of the arm, to restring the racquets as regularly as possible.
All other things constant, as a tennis player you don’t want to feel a difference in play across different weeks or even days. A loosening tension of your racquet strings could be a psychological factor in your development as a tennis player, as you look to change things around to get back to your previous best even though the issue is restricted to just the string tension being loose.
Consistency of string tension, which can be maintained by restringing the racquets regularly, helps a consistency in one’s play at every level but even more so at the beginners and early levels when one is just about learning one’s game.
To Improve String Life
Without having restrung your racquets, the strings end up moving during play, especially as the string tension reduces. This constant movement over each other reduces the string life and the chance of string breakage increases.
Want to know more about Racquet Restringing? Read on below:
- What are the different types of tennis racquet strings?
- Time taken and factors to consider before tennis restringing
- How much does it take to restring a tennis racquet?