How Should You Restring a Tennis Racket?
String plays a critical role in the quality of the racket. The correct string can maintain tension for a longer time and allow a controlled shot.
With time, tennis strings lose tension. The players do not need to wait until the string breaks to change them but can do so when they start to lose tension.
It is generally recommended that you restring your racket as many times in a year as you play in a week. For instance, if you play three times a week, then you should restring your racket three times a year.
Restringing becomes necessary as the string loses its playability i.e. feel and control as you continue to play.
What You’ll Learn
Factors to keep in mind when Restringing
If you consider replacing the strings/restringing, there are several things to keep in mind:
- One of the most critical factors a player should consider is the duration of their practice. More practice means more restringing.
- The second factor is the way a player plays. More aggressive attacking players will need their racket restrung more regularly.
- Stringing maintains consistency, and it is necessary, especially for higher-level competitions.
- Budget is also a factor to consider. If you are low on budget, then get affordable strings while if budget isn’t an issue, select a higher quality string for better playability.
- Some players keep playing with frayed or notched strings. Dead strings can also lead to arm injuries as it puts more pressure on the arm. So it’s always wise to replace strings as soon as you notice any damage.
- Last but not least, restring also depends on personal preference.s Some people are concerned about string tension and consistency while others just ignore it.
Visual Indicators to Change Strings
When the racket makes contact with the ball, the stings are rub together, which produces friction. This friction causes the strings to notch.
Upon looking closely, you will see some grooves formed where the primary and cross string cuts. This type of condition is more evident in the upper middle of the racket, which is the area that gets contacted with the ball the most.
If the racket’s strings start notching, then it’s time to restring it.
The sooner you replace the old string with the new one, the better your racket will play. A stitch in time saves nine.
Fraying is another common visual indicator that you need to get the racket re-stringed.
The strings usedin the racket are made up of tiny fibers that are intertwined together to give it the required strength to control and hit the ball.
Freshly strung strings have a coating on them which wears out with time.
This means that the fibers start to fray. It is not something to worry about as it is part of the play. The more you play, the fiber will come in contact with humidity and moisture, which becomes the reason for the fray.
You should be more concerned about getting the racket re-stringed before the fray reduces the gauges of the string to a point where it breaks.
Non-Visual Indicators to Change Strings
New players might not be able to detect the non-visual indicators.
They might not feel the subtle changes in the string.
However, once you begin controlling the game and knowing how your racket plays and feels, you should notice when it starts to play differently from how you expect.
You will notice that when the strings lose tension, they will make the ball spend more time on the bed, which ultimately will affect the player’s control and performance.
A player will have to invest more energy when compared to playing with strings with a higher tension.
It can result in making unforced errors, or the ball just might not be placed properly on the racket.
When polyester strings become loose, they lose snapback, making it more challenging to apply topspin to a racket compared to a newly strung racket.
How often should I Restring a Tennis Racket?
The players’ most important concern is how many times do they need to restring their racket?
The most straightforward answer to this question is resting is directly proportional to the time you play with the racket.
Rule of Thumb
So if you play 5 times a weeks then you should restring your racket 5 times a year.
Although the strings may seem fine, they still need to be changed because you may not see any noticeable difference, but the strings lose tension after hours of playing.
Restringing is essential for both professional and recreational players.
For aggressive players who strike the balls faster and harder, they need to keep analyzing their rackets, and may need to restring their racket more often.
It’s not uncommon for your racket to look fine but may not perform as you would like because of the strings. So keep these factors in mind when getting your racket restrung.
If the racket has a polyester string then you certainly cannot follow any calendar to restring your racket, you have to get the racket restrung immediately when the string breaks.
Generally, the polyester strings are harder to break, but if you are playing regularly, the strings will start to break down unevenly.
The uneven breakdown creates dead spots on the racket, which can cause errors in the performance.
Trainers and coaches recommend changing polyester strings after a few months to ensure good playability.
Restringing Modern Rackets:
- For the beginners, playing once a week you probably only need to change your strings once a year. Even then, some players can use the same strings for two or three years or until one breaks. At their level the difference in performance isn’t as noticeable.
- Intermediate players will need their racket restrung once or twice a year (depending on how often they play). You will notice the difference in play of your racket as the strings lose tension. If you start to play more inconsistently than you’d expect, it may be down to your worn-out strings.
- Advanced players. Some advanced players will resting a racket monthly and especially before important tournaments.
Cost of Restringing
The cost of the string depends on the type of string you are using, the brand of string, and the number of strings.
To restring a racket at a local club or shop will generally be about $15 – $60 (and often towards the lower end of that range). Expert stringers will charge more due to their experience.
To find a good racket stringer contact your local tennis club or a tennis shop. They should put you in contact with professionals in your area.
An inexpensive synthetic gut will cost you about $5, while a high-end natural gut will cost you $45 or more.
Some players bulk buy strings because they change them so often. Others buy from time to time when there is a need.
Material and Method of Restringing
Tennis strings quickly lose their tension.
Regardless of your level of training, your performance will usually suffer when the string tension in the racket diminishes.
Each string material has its own properties and characteristics. The following elements must be considered when choosing a string:
- Dynamic Stiffness
- Tension Retention
- Rebound Efficiency
- String texture
The types of strings are discussed below:
- Natural Gut is made up of the cow intestine and is best known for its tension maintenance and resilience. They rarely break, and comparatively, last longer than others.
- Synthetic gut strings are more affordable and offer very moderate tension coverage. Using nylon string means you will have to restring your tension racket more frequently.
- Multifilament is a form of nylon strings and a good alternative for natural gut strings. They are well priced and keep their tension well.
- Polyester tennis strings are the most commonly used strings. Their popularity is because of their low price and high spin potential. They do not break easily but will lose tension after time.
- Last but not least are the Kevlar string. These are durable and do a great job in maintaining string tension. These strings have a rough texture. These strings are not commonly seen on tennis players due to their uncomfortable feel.
A lot of people think that a tennis racket restriction is a personal preference, while others take it more seriously and change them more often.
It also depends on how often you play and your play style. Aggressive players who play frequently will change strings more often.
Some advanced players want a restrung racket before every game becausetheir performance is affected by worn-out or low-tension strings.
There are always two things to keep in mind before restringing a tennis racket: first is the tension loss, and the other being string performance.
So, there is no exact scientific formula to tell you when to restring a tennis racket.
For more clarity and understanding, go check out this video on youtube.