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How To Tell If Your Racket Needs Restringing?

Updated: Aug 8, 2022

Often players will play with their strings right up until they break, be that a month, a year, or even sometimes 10 years! Usually, though, strings need replacing far sooner.

If you are using strings that are long overdue replacement, your game, and maybe even your elbow, will very likely be suffering. So, how can you tell if your racket needs restringing?

As a quick answer, here are the signs to look for: - Fraying strings

- Lifeless feel

- Lack of control

- Making a thud sound on impact - Lots of string movement

- A poor run of form

- Sore arm or elbow BUT it isn't always so clear-cut. Read below as we explain each one of these points, in more detail, to help you come to the decision whether to get your strings replaced or not. Did you know…

It is recommended you should replace your strings as many times per year as you

play per week.

So, if you are the average 2 times per week club player you should refresh your strings at least every 6 months if not more.

Here’s why….

Strings have a lifespan. Whether your strings look visibly okay, makes no difference. Over time and use, their performance drops dramatically.

As a guide, the recommendation above is a simple way of ensuring your strings are changed at regular and consistent intervals to perform at their best.

BUT….there are many extremely frustrating symptoms of a racket needing a restring, and these could be ruining your game! The tell tell signs your strings need to be replaced…

  • Are your strings broken or fraying?

This obvious need for a restring is where we start. But you are not a string breaker? In fact, you have never broken a string? So why do you need a restring?

  • You can’t seem to control the ball like you used to? Shots that used to dip in now go long?

As strings age, or are heavily used, they stretch and lose tension.

As mentioned on our ‘Choosing a tension’ page, a lower tension means a lot more power but less control. Often this becomes too much with old strings and makes a racket very hard to play with.

  • Does your racket feel lifeless, more like you are hitting the ball with a cricket bat?

The play-ability and elasticity of strings over time, use, and under different weather conditions, decreases. Therefore, the feel and feedback you get from the ball also decrease.

The racket has ‘lost its punch’. Shots don’t feel so clean and don’t react how you would like them to or what maybe you are used to.

  • Does your game just seem off lately and you can’t pinpoint why?

Often a club player’s lack of form is down to their equipment without them even knowing it. And strings are the probable culprit.

This can go on for a while, leading to extreme frustration and having a negative effect on your confidence.

  • Does your racket make more of a thud instead of that nice ping noise of a cleanly hit shot?

Again, the drop in tension and reduction in responsiveness that old strings suffer, is going to change the way the ball sounds as it hits your racket.

This is a massive tell-tell sign especially as it has a detrimental effect on the play-ability of the string, racket, and player.

  • Do your strings seem to move a lot and look all bent when you look at the racket head?

A drop in tension causes your strings to move a lot more. Sometimes you find yourself moving them back into position by hand.

This inconsistency of string position will spill over into your game giving you an inconsistency in shots.

  • Have you had the same string in the racket from new?

New rackets come ‘Factory Strung’. They are more of a ‘show’ string. We always recommend you replace the strings that come in the racket from new.

These strings are often cheap and not suitable for you. They have been strung very quickly and carelessly often starting with a very low tension.

The racket could have also been on a shelf for the last year or so in a warehouse or store losing tension over time.

Take into account the racket could have traveled across the world to get to its destination, at different temperatures, climates, or pressures, the strings could be quite severely affected.

There is no way of telling the tension and condition of a ‘Factory String’ so we always recommend you just get it replaced form day one as this could really be holding you back and ruining the experience of your nice new racket!

  • Do you suffer from tennis elbow?

Tennis elbow sufferers need to be more careful about the equipment and setup they use. Changing the string and tension can really help ease pain and prevent this issue.

Also, check out our recommendation on comfortable strings for tennis elbow sufferers on our ‘Choosing a string page’ and what tensions we recommend for you on our 'Choosing a tension page.'


How this could improve your game…

As you can probably see, the benefits are now obvious. Strings performing at their best allow you to perform at your best. If your answer is yes to any of these questions then you are probably in need of a restring.

Fresh strings will give great play-ability, cleaner hits, consistency in shots, improved control, potentially help elbow issues, and could really improve your game!

You may have not even realised you have adapted your play to your low-performing strings and will be stunned at the boost a restring could give you!

Don’t let your old strings hold you back!

Get in contact for advice or to book in for a restring.

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