I know many players who will use the strings in their racquet
until they break, well, most of us do. However, for some that
might be a problem. I have seen good tennis players leave
the same set of strings in their racquets for over a year!
Strings lose their playability over time. I personally do
not use the same strings once they have been in my racquet
for over 10 hours of play. Typically they break well before
that time, but if they do not, I cut them out. 10 hours may
be an extreme, but let's take a look at what is recommended.
The United States Racquet Stringers Association (USRSA) recommends
that you string your racquet 3-4 times a year minimum. If
you are a 4.0 player I recommend that you restring your racquet
at least 6 times per year. If you are a 4.5 player or above
I recommend that you string your racquet at least once every
4 weeks for maximum playability.
I used to keep my racquets in the trunk of my car, anyone
else guilty of this? The trunk of your car can easily get
to a toasty 130-140F on a hot day. I love to have my racquets
with me everywhere I go just in case I get the chance to play
unexpectedly. However, after I read the following quote from
BE KIND TO YOUR RACQUET by Scott Coleman, I have opted
for other options to store my racquets:
The (USRSA) conducted an experiment,
using Prince Topspin, around a seemingly reasonable temperature
of 115 degrees F. The experiment showed that a racquet strung
at 60 pounds exposed for one hour lost three pounds. After
three hours it lost 7.5 pounds. Two hours is the average duration
of a club match. If it is 90 degrees, it is 110-120 degrees
on the court depending on the court surface.
As you can see, improper care of your racquet can do some
serious damage to your strings, resulting in a string tension
you are not too familiar with. I realize that there are some
great players out there who do not hit with a lot of spin,
thus keeping their strings from breaking quickly. Just keep
in mind that even though your strings have not broken, they
are not the same strings you had put in your racquet 2 or
3 months ago. The worst place to leave your racquet is on
the trunk of your car. Do whatever you can to find a way to
keep them in a cooler environment.
Luck on the Court!