How often should you change tennis strings?
One of the most common questions about tennis strings is that of how often should they be replaced. It’s a great question and one that many players don’t give a whole lot of consideration. The truth is, strings wear down with play and lose their elasticity and tension. If left unchanged for too long, they can negatively affect your performance. The first question is: what level do you play at? If you are a beginner player, you will tolerate a greater change in string tension than an intermediate player. This is because beginners rarely notice any change in the strength of the string. So if you’re just starting out, a two-month stretch may be the right amount of time for you. However, if you’ve been playing for a while, whenever you’re going to the court, I advise you to change the tension. Here are a few of the top reasons you should be restringing your tennis racket periodically.
The first and most apparent reason to replace your tennis strings is that they will lose tension over time. The longer the tension is in the rocket, the less the force that tensions its strings. String tension drops the fastest within the first hour after stretching and will continue to drop, even without a single stroke. The process will accelerate significantly when you start playing on the court, hitting the ball repeatedly and increasing the forces acting on the strings. The consequence of this is that after 2 months, your strings have probably lost half of their initial tension. If it’s a single-core polyester string, it’s probably even more. The exception is natural gut, which is the best in this respect, because it remains flexible and maintains tension very well for a long time. Before you get back on the court, you should replace your strings. If you take your game seriously, restring your racket regularly every 10 to 15 hours of play if you use polyester. You can add a couple more hours if you use nylon or multi-fibre string. Considering the amount of money you plan to spend on tennis, you can safely adopt the following rule of thumb: racket strings should be replaced as many times a year as you play tennis per week. Unless, of course, they break sooner than that.
As your strings go dead, they begin to lose their performance characteristics which you may have bought them for in the first place.
For example, polyester strings can help a player maximise their potential for topspin. However, as they lose their tension, they also lose their resilience and effect, which is part of how they help players generate topspin. Tension is important for control and impact strength, elasticity and strength of tension. The reduction in the pull force means that the pull dampens vibrations better and becomes more flexible. A “trampoline effect” is created that simultaneously increases the impact power and reduces control. Increasing the force causes reverse reactions.
One of the worst things that can happen to a player is that they begin to adjust their technique, or an instructor or coach tells them to adapt their technique to compensate for a loss in tension in their strings. Since the tension of your strings can have a significant impact on the power and control you generate when hitting, it’s worth replacing your tennis strings consistently to make sure you perform your best.
Maintaining a freshly strung racket can help cut down on shock and therefore increase comfort. Of course, if comfort is a top priority, you’ll want to be using an arm-friendly string. However, even the best strings for tennis elbow will lose their comfort factor over time.
Most recreational players only have one tennis racket. As a result, if you break a string, it’s likely going to prevent you from playing altogether or cut your playing time short. There’s nothing more frustrating than showing up excited to play only to break your strings after your first few hits. Regularly restringing can help ensure you get to take advantage of every minute you set aside to play.
When it comes to replacing your tennis strings, it’s important to note that different strings will do a better job of maintaining their tension over time. In some cases, you may hear this referred to as tension maintenance or playability duration. Speaking of changing tennis strings, we cannot forget about their structure. Diameter and thickness has a big impact on when we should replace the string. The diameter of the string particularly affects the strength and flexibility of the string. It’s determined in millimetres and is usually between 1.1-1.4 mm. The thicker the pull, the more strength it offers, at the expense of power, control, feel and comfort. Thinner strings provide better comfort, feel, control, suppression of negative vibrations and impact power. Players who like rotational blows should use thinner strings because the thinner the strings, the easier it will be to give the ball a spin. It should be mentioned that when choosing the thickness of the string, the number of strings should also be taken into account (string arrangement), because thinner strings will do better when in large numbers.