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101 of Restringing Your Tennis Racket
Luke Henley, ESRA certified stringer, provides valuable information on why strings are important and what you need to know about restringing.
Strings are the only part of the racket that actually hit the ball – so Luke Henley, ESRA qualified racket stringer – is surprised how few people understanding why strings are so important! In this discussion with Mark Tennant, Director of i2c, Luke gives the 101 (basics) of restringing your tennis racket and answers the most common questions he is asked:
- Why are strings so important to you and your game?
- Are factory strings any good?
- How often should you get your racket restrung?
- Is there a simple rule of thumb which players can use?
- What are the factors you need to consider when stringing your racket?
- Player experience
- Game style
- External factors such as court surface, climate etc
- Strings are often the most overlooked thing by a lot of players. I find this unfortunate as what part of your racket actually hits the ball…? Any level of player can massively benefit from a fresh restring and I could not tell you how many people have had their racket done with myself and come back to me a couple of days later astonished at the difference it has made to their game.
- Some racket come factory strung and people assume that as they’ve spent x amount of money on a new, good quality racket, that the strings within this racket are of a similar quality. However, this is usually not the case and often even if the strings themselves are of suitable quality, then the tension they are at by the time the consumer makes the purchase is far from satisfactory. The racket will likely have been strung 6 or more months ago in China and on an industrial machine which is designed to churn rackets out in large quantitates and at high speed. After this the racket will then have travelled on one or more planes and this is renound for making stringbeds lose tension due to the altitude and temperatures they are exposed to. Recently a lot of manufactures have been switching and providing more and more rackets unstrung – this makes sense from all points of view.
- For people who don’t tend to break strings (the majority of club players) should still be getting their rackets restrung. This is because over time the stringed will start to lose tension and this in turn will make the racket more difficult to play with. A nice general rule of thumb for an average club player is look to get your racket restrung the same number of times in a year that you play a week. I personally would say that maybe if you only played once a week you should still get it done twice a year at least as a racket will lose a lot of tension on 12 months even if it never hit a ball, let alone when it is use.
- There are several factors that can impact how you get your racket restrung. These include your level, your style of play, what you look to get from your restring (power, control, feel etc) and in some cases the courts you usually play on and the atmospheric conditions where you usually play.
Full series on understanding and caring for your racket
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