When to restring backup racquet(s)

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by xeropwnage, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. xeropwnage

    xeropwnage New User

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    I live in North Dakota, so accounting for weather I get maybe six months of outdoor play time if I'm lucky. I average about four 1.5-hour sessions per week. I have never broken my strings but usually restring as soon as the courts begin to open up after the snow melts. Being an amateur, recreational player I only own two racquets. I intend to use one as a main and the other as backup.

    Because I've never broken my strings, it might be safe to assume my backup racquet will rarely, if ever, be used. If that's the case, how often should I restring it? I've read that though the strings may never see action, tension loss will still occur. Even so, I find it hard to convince myself to replace strings that have hardly been used.
     
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  2. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    I hit 3x more than you and can't break poly strings. What I do is I rotate between two rackets to get the strings wear out the same. And then at some point I get bored and cut them out. :)
     
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  3. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

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    OP - What kind of strings do you use?
     
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  4. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    A couple of ways. For nylon strings (syn gut, multifilament), when the strings start to move around a lot and you have to physically put them back into place, then it's time.

    Play time. I can get about 15 hours with syn gut. 20 or so with a good multifilament. Less than 10 with poly.

    Multifilament strings will have an outer wrapper that will start to fray when they are starting to die, so look for fraying.

    Poly usually dies long before it breaks. As it dies, it gets even more stiff. Perhaps your arm can tell you when its close.
     
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  5. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    I don't believe in back ups. I have three identical frames and I rotate after the first five games and every eight after that. I wear them evenly and restring whenever one breaks or after about 6 hits/matches (~2 weeks).

    I can't imagine not stringing for 6 months. They'd be really dead, if poly, or would never last that long.
     
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  6. xeropwnage

    xeropwnage New User

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    I appreciate the responses. I forgot to mention I use poly. I think I just need to learn to differentiate the feeling between new and dead strings. I only recently became more proactive in tennis, so I suppose I'll need more play experience before I get to that point. I'll probably rotate my racquets to wear them out evenly, like suggested, and try to pay attention and get familiar with my strings.

    An idea I was considering: play with the same racquet for maybe like three months, then switch to the other. If poly dies as quick as I've read, then there should be a noticeable difference between the two. I'm not sure how fresh the strings on the other racquet will be after three months and my game will probably suffer, but this tactic might be more effective in helping me to identify the difference.

    As for the backup idea, my current two racquets were purchased at a bargain but used. As it turned out, one of the racquets had obvious scuff marks on the bumper and on a couple parts of the frame while the other was nearly pristine. It might be silly to attempt to preserve its condition when normal wear and tear is inevitable, but that's just me being weird.
     
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  7. corbind

    corbind Professional

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    Remember that racquets are only tools to get a job done. They don't need to be babied and can take abuse. Once you accept that you'll relax quite a bit and have more fun!

    Change your strings at least twice a year (absolute minimum). If you play with poly I'm amazed you were able to play with it for so long without your arm getting in trouble.

    As far as playing with one and the other as a backup. If they are the same racquet then rotate them every set or even every two games (on changeovers). No reason to have a backup just use the two sticks out.

    If they are not the same model then it's not smart to switch sticks every two games. I'd get two identical sticks.
     
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  8. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    You're using poly for 3 months? I promise you that the strings died a loooong time ago. I don't know how often you play, but those strings probably died after two weeks. If you're playing one match per week, then maybe three weeks.

    How about this. String up two identical racquets with the same strings and same tension. rotate them out once per week. Two racquets will keep you happy for 6 weeks of play time.

    Then, cut them out and re-string. Rinse and repeat every 6 weeks. If your amount of playing increases, that will affect when you re-string.

    Again, with poly, it will die looong before it breaks (unless you are a string breaker). If you don't notice the strings getting stiffer and stiffer as they die, then either you've got superman elbows, or you string under 40 lbs.

    Another hallmark of a dying poly string is "spraying". Your shots stop landing in. Control goes way down and power goes up. This is due to string fatigue and tension loss. Poly loses tension like my old '81 Toyota Cressida loses oil.
     
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  9. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Unfortunately most folks are playing poly sort of dead. Most poly passes it's
    best play pretty quick and who is going to restring each weeK?

    I like Big Ace because it seems to play well and be easy on the arm for quite a
    while. It's best when new of course, but still plays well for over a month and
    I can't say that for most polys.
     
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  10. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    If you really only play once a week I would not waste a lot of money for restringing the backup racket. restring it once a year and if a string breaks on your regular racket finish the session with that old string.

    If you are more competitive and play 2-3 times a week I would rotate between both rackets and try to use them up evenly.
     
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  11. xeropwnage

    xeropwnage New User

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    Now this will be useful. I will definitely look for these signs. Thank you!
     
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  12. xeropwnage

    xeropwnage New User

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    In a good week I'd probably get about 4-5 sessions in. But then again, I only play recreationally and am quite the novice still, so I might not hit with enough pace and spin yet that would otherwise affect the life of the string, although I'm not even sure if that would make a difference.

    Regardless, I think I will follow the advice of using both racquets equally; that seems to be the consensus here. Once I get over being cheap, maybe I'll restring both every month or two just to be safe; that way I won't need to stress over it too much.

    One other question while I'm at it. When I finally do put the racquets away for the season, would it be best to cut the strings out while in storage? I plan to restring them at the beginning of the season anyway. I just figured it might be healthier for the frames if they weren't placed under any unnecessary stress by the tension of the strings.
     
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  13. tyu1314

    tyu1314 Semi-Pro

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    You can also string up the backup with gut, it would remain its playability until it break.
     
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  14. vil

    vil Semi-Pro

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    I wouldn't recommend that to anybody. Guts have a sling shot feel and behave different to poly. You have to get used to them. Not a good idea if you break one racket in the middle of the match and now you have to play with a complete stranger. If you only have two rackets, then I would recommend to string them with the same type of string and same tension. If one breaks, the other will feel just the same. You want consistency.
     
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  15. tyu1314

    tyu1314 Semi-Pro

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    ^yea i agree what you say about the huge differenceS between full poly and gut. But i still think its a better idea to strung the backup up with gut, since he uses full poly but never able to break them, the poly on the back up would probably go dead before he play with them, i think its such a waste to let a brand new poly to just sit there and go dead.
    Of course this will not be recommend to everyone, but OP mentioned that he never break string, and his back up would rarely or ever be use.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012
    #15
  16. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    I do this with my frames. Typically only useful during the summer, I like to have a dry grip whenever I'm serving, so I switch sticks on changeovers and let the other dry off.
     
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  17. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    If you are still at the novice levels, I'd say ditch the poly and get some syn gut or a multi in those frames. You'll get better feel, better comfort/safety for you arm, a longer lasting string, and you pretty much can stop worrying about restringing because they'll probably be good until they break.

    You'll need a fairly developed stroke to get anything out of poly, otherwise its just a lot of hassle for very little benefit.
     
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