Don't String Me Along: Knowing When its Time to Restring your Racquet!
Spring is here and summer is just around the corner. Now is a great time to think about restringing your racquet for a summer tune up as heat and humidity will stretch out the strings even more.
Strings wear down from play relatively quickly and subsequently lose their elasticity and ability to hold tension. If left too long, it can negatively affect your performance, comfort, and feel. If you do not restring often enough, instead of honing your swing, you will be compensating for changing string tension. The worst thing that can happen to a player is they begin to adjust their technique to compensate for lost tension. To play consistently, you want to play with a racquet that behaves the same way in the same situations.
Wondering how often you should have your racquet restrung? There is a general rule of thumb that provides useful guidance:
Over a year, you should restring your racquet the number of times you play in a week.
So, if you play four times a week, then restring your racquet four times a year. If you have not had a fresh string bed in six months, then its likely time to freshen things up.
While this general rule of thumb is a useful guide, it is rather broad and can't be applied to all types of players or all kinds of string. Polyester strings are trickier. Generally, while polyester strings are hard to break for most club players, they go dead after 10 to 20 hours of play. Also, aggressive ball-strikers with full, heavy topspin strokes will wear through strings much faster than flat-hitting doubles specialists with abbreviated swings and touch play.
For most players, visual and feel indicators are more suitable than abiding by a restringing calendar. Examples:
- notches or grooves at intersection between strings
- fraying strings
- loss of ball control: ball goes longer, wider
- loss of power and topspin
- racquet feels “dead”, “mushy”, or not as “crisp”
Bottom line, if you cannot figure out what technical flaw has emerged in your stroke, maybe it’s not your stroke- its your strings!
Pop into the ORC Pro Shop and ask Dan Kilberg, ORC Pro Shop Manager & Head Stringer, if its time for a new bed of strings.