4 ways to give your tennis racquet a long life

July 29, 2015

Give your tennis racquet a little TLC, and it'll pay you back with years of enjoyment and healthy living.

4 ways to give your tennis racquet a long life

1. Tennis racquet strings can have a long life

  • Tennis racquet strings can last up to 30 to 70 hours of playing time.
  • Nylon strings will typically give you about 30 to 40 hours of playing time, while natural gut strings provide almost twice as much, about 60 to 70 hours.
  • That's assuming, of course, that you don't break a string first.

2. Restring your tennis racquets

  • All tennis racquets should be restrung at least twice a year.
  • A good rule to follow is to restring your racquet about as many times in a year as you play in a week.
  • If you don't break strings often, try using a thinner (17 to 18 gauge) string. Thinner strings provide greater resilience and better spin control.

3. Keep it cool, but not too cool

  • Tennis racquets don't do well in extreme temperatures at either end of the thermometer. High temperatures can cause racquets to lose tension.
  • A two-hour exposure to temperatures of 46°C (115°F) or higher, for example, can cause synthetic strings to lose three kilograms (seven pounds) of tension or more.
  • This damage is irreversible; the racket doesn't regain that tension once it's cooled off.
  • So don't leave your racquet in the car trunk in the summer where temperatures can exceed 54°C (130°F).
  • Likewise, cold temperatures can cause your strings to lose resilience and create "dead zones" that can weaken your swing.
  • Cold temperatures also make strings brittle and more likely to break.

4. Touch up an old wooden tennis racquet

  • If you have an old wooden tennis racquet with a few dings in it, lightly sand out the damage using fine-grit sandpaper followed by a few coats of polyurethane varnish.
  • Make sure you apply the varnish with an artist's brush or equally small-headed brush.
  • Varnish can dissolve some types of string. Or do the varnishing just before you have the racket restrung.
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