How to care for your tennis strings

The durability of your strings is very much determined by the way how you play it and how you care for it. A few tips to help keep you and your equipment performing at its best from the United States Racquet Stringers Association.

Restring a racquet as many times per year as you play per week (with a minimum of 2 times per year). This will ensure a minimum standard of string performance.

Typically, nylon strings if it doesn’t break first, will lose most of its life after just 20-30 hours of playing time. This is a gradual process, so many players don’t notice until they have their racquet restrung.

It’s generally accepted that natural gut provides almost twice the amount of playing time (30-40 hours), if not broken. If you’re not a string breaker, switch to a thinner string. You are not getting full playability from your strings if they last forever. Thinner strings provide greater resilience, feel and spin potential.

Keep your racquet away from heat! This means never store racquets in the trunk of a car during hot summer months. When traveling by plane, carry your racquets on board instead of checking them with other luggage. Tension loss and loss of string life are dramatically accelerated at temperatures above 30° Celsius. Keep your racquets out of the cold. Cold temperatures make your strings lose resilience and become "dead".

Also, cold temperatures make your strings more brittle, and more likely to break prematurely. If you carry more than one racquet on the court, keep your spare out of the sun. UV rays deteriorate string performance so keep them covered or better yet in the shade. Also, be sure to rotate your racquets regularly for even ware and tear of frames and strings.

Replace your grip. Many players overlook the importance of their racquet’s grip. If your grip is worn, there is a much greater chance of the racquet twisting in your hand, which can contribute to arm problems. Have your grip checked each time you have your racquet serviced.

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