When is it too cold to play outside?

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by tennytive, Oct 10, 2009.

  1. tennytive

    tennytive Semi-Pro

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    Are there any polar bear tennis clubs?

    I started playing with a bunch of guys here in the Chicago area who say they show up until the snow starts to fly. We only play once a week, so I hate to miss out, especially since it's so close to shutting it down for the winter.

    This is doubles, so it's not like we're killing ourselves out there, but I'm already playing with nagging injuries as it is, and wonder if I could make things worse by not being smart about the weather. Then again, maybe it's no big deal.

    I do remember playing in November once many years back, but that was a relatively warm day. But swimming in the lake afterwards was no bargain. Significant shrinkage…
     
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  2. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    Look.
    People enjoy all sorts of winter sports even though it is really cold outside.
    So there is no reason not to play tennis on a cold day, as long as the court is in good condition.
    I play right down to 32 degrees. There should be plenty of afternoons in Chicago when the temperature gets that high over the next few months.
    Warm up beforehand with a little jog around the court, some agility drills, practice swings, a reasonably long pre match rally and try to keeps the game moving.
    Wear nylon and fleece that will wick sweat away. Shed clothing as you warm up so you don't overheat. (You can always put another thin layer back on.) Buy some football receiver's gloves. Make sure your tennis shoes have good traction (Asics Gel Resolution II's have a slightly softer sole that doesn't seem to harden up as much as many others.) You may find that non pressurised balls bounce better in the cold than regular pressurised ball. Be prepared to string your racquet slightly looser, use a softer string, and still have to restring more often from broken strings.
    C'mon.
    You're a Bears fan.
    Be a man.
     
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  3. tennytive

    tennytive Semi-Pro

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    LOL. Well therein lies the dilemma. We play on Sundays right when the Bears play their early games. So it's either play tennis, or watch the game?

    Thanks for the cold weather tips. The guys tell me they've been playing this way for years, so it must be no big deal.
     
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  4. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    Check on scores with your Blackberry.
    Tivo the first three quarters.
    No excuses, now.
     
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  5. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    When I was still in my 40s, didn't have too much trouble playing in temps in the low 30Fs. These days, my joints have a difficult time tolerating it. It take much longer to warm up the strokes and if the rallies are too short, the body starts getting very tight.

    Balls don't bounce very well in colder temps, even temps in the 50Fs. Need to warm them up by bouncing them a lot or artifically with a heating pad so that they don't feel like Flinstone's balls (aka rocks).
     
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  6. TnTBigman

    TnTBigman Professional

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    When u can't feel ur fingers. or when ur eyes water too damn much to properly see the ball.
     
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  7. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    if i were you guys, i would consider indoor tennis :)
     
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  8. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I have the opposite problem down in Florida at the moment. This October record heat wave with highs of 95 degrees is brutal. It was 80 degrees at 8 AM this morning and humid. Please send a cold front down here!
     
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  9. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Not very many indoor courts in this area.
    Some of the more exclusive=pricey clubs have a few.
     
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  10. Cup8489

    Cup8489 Legend

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    only if you throw us some heat! :)

    i just played with my uncle this afternoon, 33 degrees here. we actually played very well, but spent most of the match slightly out of breath, b/c we didn't wait more than 10 seconds between points. i had 4 layers on, two longsleeve cotton shirts, a polyester underneath those, and a hooded cotton sweatshirt over all. wool long underwear with track pants over it. i used my older tennis shoes, where the tread wore down a bit, better grip than the very stiff new rubber. didn't need gloves, my hands stayed warm. kept a stocking cap on though.

    it looked absurd, but movement was not a problem at all. people walking to the school for a swim meet indoors were looking at us like we were nuts lol.

    but...i am afraid i don't think i'll be doing that again. the tennis club returned to its winter 8am-10pm weekday schedule, so there's ample time to play in heated indoor courts :)
     
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  11. Treebeard

    Treebeard New User

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    Is there any concern about racket frame fracture in the cold?
    With these new frames and the materials used (carbon, etc.) could that be a concern?
     
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  12. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    65F is where I draw the line.

    JR = cold sissy of all time.

    J
     
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  13. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

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    65 Jo11y, really?


    My house has been colder than that before.
     
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  14. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Yea, anything in the 50s and my back absolutely revolts.

    And I can't crack an egg with my serve.

    I will practice in the low 60s but only if I can get a good GS drill, or point play game going, not serving/playing.

    It is as if once the temp gets into the low 60's my body just raises this big middle finger at any attempt of mine to play.

    J
     
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  15. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    In college, I played one time when the temps were right around freezing. We were the only suckers there that night and I don't even think we finished the set. It was windy too. I had so much water in my eyes I could barely see.
     
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  16. Nonentity

    Nonentity Rookie

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    No, but cold hands lead to less grip, lead to rackets flying loose which leads to broken frames.
     
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  17. Sup2Dresq

    Sup2Dresq Hall of Fame

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    Anything below 65 degrees and I wont play. Everyone who hits with me knows that rule. 64.. nope...

    I need to move to somewhere tropical or with plenty of palm trees!
     
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  18. samster

    samster Legend

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    When I was a teenager, I would go hit against the wall in 40 degree weather. Now, anything less than 68F is less than ideal.
     
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  19. BullDogTennis

    BullDogTennis Hall of Fame

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    played some last year in like 34 degrees in short sleeves and shorts. don't like to play in any kind of sleeves. my left hand got so cold it swelled up like double when i finnaly got inside and it warmed so fast.
     
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  20. Vermillion

    Vermillion Banned

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    Looks like Jolly and Sup2 can be pals after all.

    I can tolerate down to 40F but after that is not too fun.
     
    #20
  21. ubermeyer

    ubermeyer Hall of Fame

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    Texas weather sucks for tennis. It's like 1000 degrees here.

    I once played in 40 degree weather back in California, it was fine cuz it wasn't windy
     
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  22. SuperDuy

    SuperDuy Hall of Fame

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    Id rather be there then where i am where its 34 degrees feerenheit for a high!
     
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  23. ubermeyer

    ubermeyer Hall of Fame

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    I highly doubt that anyone would prefer Floridan weather to their own... unless they live in Texas!
     
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  24. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    Lack of wind is key. I've had enjoyable matches with temps in the high 30's. So whenever I contemplate playing in winter months, I'm looking at wind forecast as much as temperature.
     
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  25. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    I wouldn't worry too much about the frame. Carbon (graphite), titanium, & other exotic metals used in racquets can probably tolerate very extreme temperature ranges. I'd worry more about the strings, the balls and your own skin tolerance to temp extremes before worrying about the frame.
     
    #25
  26. 10ACE

    10ACE Professional

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    Why not give paddle tennis a try, real fun sport in 30-50 degree weather. As for tennis, 60's is still good by me, when it gets bellow 60 into the 50's the cold air can mess with my lungs, like ice daggers.
     
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  27. tennytive

    tennytive Semi-Pro

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    Get this… I show up on Sunday ready to play, and there isn't a soul anywhere. I call a couple of the guys who are in charge of rounding up the players and they both tell me "Are you #@%! nuts? It's too cold!" In fairness, it was in the 30's with a west wind.

    Worst part was it was the bye week for the Bears…
     
    #27
  28. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    Mike Ditka says he's proud you came ready to play.

    Give your pals some sound advice.
    When it's cold out, don't wear a skirt.
     
    #28
  29. mike53

    mike53 Professional

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    Yeah, you can probably have fun right down to 30 degrees as long as it's sunny, dry and the wind is completely calm. We always had at least a couple days like that late in the year, back in Ohio.
     
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  30. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    You are just deranged. I have seen you play in sub-artic temps. I am lucky to be alive today instead of dead of hypothermia and stuffed under the bleachers of the NTC.

    J
     
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  31. film1

    film1 Semi-Pro

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    When I was young we would layer up and play in 20s.
    Now I would not play under 50.
     
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  32. snoopy

    snoopy Professional

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    I agree.

    When temps are in the upper 30s I'll head to the courts with sweats and a sweatshirt. If the sun is shining and the wind isn't blowing, I find myself stripping down to shorts and a t-shirt within 15 minutes of arrival.
     
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  33. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    I used to play in the cold, but when I turned 25 I wised up.

    J
     
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  34. apor

    apor Rookie

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    65 too cold?

    i play down into the low 40's, but at that point the only one who shows up is the wall. i wear lots of thin layers that slowly get taken off as i warm up. you def have to warm up, and the balls hardly bounce unless you beat them hard.
    i wonder if my ball machine can handle those kinda temps.
    anyone know how tretorn micro-x balls bounce in the cold?
     
    #34
  35. SuperFly

    SuperFly Semi-Pro

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    This year my high school tennis coach made our team practice on Good Friday. It was below freezing. I went out with 3 layers or shirts and shorts and won every single ladders match I played.

    So yeah, it's never too cold to play tennis.
     
    #35
  36. Frank Silbermann

    Frank Silbermann Professional

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    There used to be a tennis sock that went around your hand and then around the racket handle. Ordinary racketball gloves also work well, though you might want to use a special racket with a slightly smaller grip.
    Cold makes the air in pressurized balls contract, thereby reducing the pressure and making them play dead. I find that pressureless balls keep their bounce better in cold temperature. That makes sense when you realize that the first pressureless tennis balls were made in Sweden (Tretorn brand).
     
    #36
  37. SuperDuy

    SuperDuy Hall of Fame

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    It's been in the 30s now where i am but this week end 40s finally!
     
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  38. SuperDuy

    SuperDuy Hall of Fame

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    Haha, 50 is my limit actually.
     
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  39. PureDrive4life

    PureDrive4life New User

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    i played in the 40's today.
     
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  40. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    After suffering through a record breaking 10 days of record highs in the mid 90s, I'm loving every minute I spend outside now that some fall weather has arrived. Supposed to get in the upper 40s here in Central Florida tomorrow night.
     
    #40
  41. kenshireen

    kenshireen Professional

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    55F or higher.
    But there are other considerations..
    If it is a sunny day I willplay in the high 40's. The sun does warm you up..
    Wind..if the wind is blowin 10-15 steady and it is a cloudy overcast day...I will raise my limit to 60.

    Concerns are twofold:
    I'm 63 and do not want to pull or tear anything in my leg.. I already tore a distal bicept tendon playing and ALTA match in snow flurries.
    Secondly, my hands/fingers get cold and I don't get a clean feel for the bevels on my racket.

    When people call me in the winter, the first thing I do is check weather.com

    Ken
     
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  42. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    People know better than to call me in the winter without indoor reservations.

    My cold sissy reputation precedes me.

    J
     
    #42
  43. samster

    samster Legend

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    My friend and I had made plans to play today. My friend wanted to play outdoors because it was "nice" outside. It was in high in the mid 50s. I told him "no, thanks." We ended up playing inside as planned but he seemed a little upset in the beginning. But I rather be able to feel my hands while trying to hit a ball than try to save a few bucks.
     
    #43
  44. Falloutjr

    Falloutjr Banned

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    Ha! I was outside practicing serves by myself in 30 degree weather for 3 hours and I didn't feel a thing. Being from Ohio, I'm either numb to the coldness having played in it so many times, or numb in general from the freezing weather, but I manned up, and so should you! It's never too cold to play tennis ball

    [​IMG]
     
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  45. Falloutjr

    Falloutjr Banned

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    I don't mean the OP, I mean samster :)
     
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  46. tennytive

    tennytive Semi-Pro

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    We played yesterday in balmy 55 degrees with a stiff south wind.

    Played some of my best tennis of the season, so "cold" was not a factor.

    I think it was because I re-gripped my rackets in the morning. Better touch and feel the whole match, even with the wind.
     
    #46
  47. AlexTennisAllDayLong

    AlexTennisAllDayLong Rookie

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    I hate playing in cold, balls are like rocks, they don't bounce at all.
    I remember we had tennis practice in South Dakota in spring and it would be snowing half the time lol...its wicked. Hot weather is the best even though i dont enjoy overheating
     
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  48. mlktennis

    mlktennis Semi-Pro

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    i'm a polar bear. as long as there is no snow, I can and will play. The cold weather clothes like 'under armor' wick sweat away and is awesome at keeping you dry and warm.
     
    #48
  49. nytennisaddict

    nytennisaddict Professional

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    woohoo, i second paddle :) in ny, evening temps are getting into the 40's so i'm getting into paddle mode.

    40 is about my limit for tennis, below that:
    1) i'll lose feel in my fingers (even with racquet ball type gloves)
    2) warming up takes forever
    3) even warmed up, temps in the 30's requires enough layers of clothing (even tech gear), that it constricts my natural stroke
    4) it's hard enough to find folks at my level to play tennis, forget about finding other folks to play in the 40's or lower
    5) i think the feel of the ball off the strings is very different than when playing in 50+ temps
     
    #49
  50. nytennisaddict

    nytennisaddict Professional

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    in paddle, i'll often play <30, doesn't the cold air mess with you at that temp as well in paddle?
     
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