Racquet's Durability

#1
I heard that the racquet can "go dead" in a year or so if it is played frequently, because of micro cracks in the graphite due to playing. I haven't personally experienced this. What would it mean for the racquet to go dead? Stiffness would be reduced? How will it reflect on the racquet?

I have a couple of racquets that I used for something like 7-8 years, and I can't really tell if they are "dead".
 

pyrokid

Hall of Fame
#3
If you can't tell if they're dead, and the only reason you are even concerned with the subject is because you read about the possibility, then I would have to guess the sticks are fine.
You would have never thought they were dead if you hadn't read that, correct?
 
#4
I haven't been playing tennis long enough to even consider racket durability issues.

However, in the world of cycling, carbon bikes endure many thousands of miles and hours of service without fatiguing. However, they do eventually lose their stiffness and are considered to be unsuitable for racing.

I think the best indicator might be how long elite pros play with rackets. Any reports on how many hours they log with a specific racket before they consider it to be not usable in competition?
 
#5
I have to say I have experienced this with my hybrid hornet racquets. I have played hard with them for probably 5 or so years, and they are now noticably more 'dead'. Very little 'pop' left.
 
#7
I think one way to find out if they're 'dead' is if they break after you take a big swing with it....hehehe ;) can't get any more deader than that...
 
#8
I played with my Pro Staff 85's for 15 years, and they're just fine. I don't think frames go dead; I think maybe grommets wear out, and that changes the feel, so all you have to do is throw in some new grommets. If you love your frames they'll love you back. No smashy smashy.
 
#9
I played with my Pro Staff 85's for 15 years, and they're just fine. I don't think frames go dead; I think maybe grommets wear out, and that changes the feel, so all you have to do is throw in some new grommets. If you love your frames they'll love you back. No smashy smashy.

I wonder if racquet materials also play a role here. I.e. graphite/kevlar vs. 100% graphite, etc.

I would also agree re:grommets (worn/cracked). Heavily worn bumperguard may also cause a slight tilt in racquet balance (couple of grams?).
 
#10
vb2374- I also wondered the very same things. I wonder if the composite makes a difference in longevity. I would think all materials in the racquet would have a fatigue factor. I just haven't gotten any type of good answer yet from anyone that truly knows.
 
#11
vb2374- I also wondered the very same things. I wonder if the composite makes a difference in longevity. I would think all materials in the racquet would have a fatigue factor. I just haven't gotten any type of good answer yet from anyone that truly knows.
I'm sure it does make a difference, however it probably varies from one racquet to another. So one kind of racquet will be affected by fatigue sooner than another kind all other factors being the same (game style, strokes, etc).
 

Mig1NC

Professional
#12
James Blake has been hitting with his last three racquets for how many years now?

The way he bashes the ball I think he would wear out a stick real quick.
 
#13
I wonder if racquet materials also play a role here. I.e. graphite/kevlar vs. 100% graphite, etc.

I would also agree re:grommets (worn/cracked). Heavily worn bumperguard may also cause a slight tilt in racquet balance (couple of grams?).
Kevlar intertwined with the graphite fiber could feasibly prolong any breaking down.

In reality the airline industry has gobbled up all the premium graphite and tennis racquets get the scraps. If anything, older classic frames, made with the premium stuff, will hold out longer than the current crop of crap manufactured today.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
#14
Breakdown in carbon occurs sooner than most of you think.
Delam is the main problem, micro, and it keeps the racket from springing back to it's original shape as quickly when it's worn out.
Carbon windsurfing masts, up to 100%, go dead within 2 years of use. Any less carbon percentage, it might actually go dead with a little more time.
Stealth fighters need their carbon bodies parts replaced after every 17 to 30 flights, depending on stress and time.
Most of us barely hit hard enough, or play long enough, to stress out our rackets within 4 years.
Some of you might be Q material, and would still not notice deadness within a couple of years....blaming strings, playing skill, opponents, court, temps, balls, or whatever to compensate for the carbon in your rackets losing it's elasticity thru time and repeated cycling.
 
#18
I believe...........

I heard that the racquet can "go dead" in a year or so if it is played frequently, because of micro cracks in the graphite due to playing. I haven't personally experienced this. What would it mean for the racquet to go dead? Stiffness would be reduced? How will it reflect on the racquet?
I believe what you are referring to is wear and tear on racquets at the professional level. Since the pros string so much and play so much, they will go throught several racquets in a year. Top players can go through 80-140+ racquets a year. This does happen do to the micro cracks that effect the racquet stablity, which can cause more mishits or missed shots at the upper levels.

However, this is very rare for the average rec player as they do not play enough, don't hit that consistently hard or accurate and do not string anywhere near as much. So racquets in the hands of rec players can last 10+ years depending on playing level, amount of play and care.

Cheers, TennezSport :cool:
 
#20
This is reassuring, and yes, the pros obviously stress their equipment in a way that's unimaginable to the average recreational player or athlete.

Again, to return to cycling, it's rare for a pro's bike to last one season; the same bike in the hands of a recreational rider (should s/he be lucky and/or affluent enough to be able to afford such a bike) will easily last 10 to 20 years. This is because a pro is riding 120 miles a day for weeks on end, whereas a rec rider will ride maybe 120 miles a week, and at a much slower pace.

I believe what you are referring to is wear and tear on racquets at the professional level. Since the pros string so much and play so much, they will go throught several racquets in a year. Top players can go through 80-140+ racquets a year. This does happen do to the micro cracks that effect the racquet stablity, which can cause more mishits or missed shots at the upper levels.

However, this is very rare for the average rec player as they do not play enough, don't hit that consistently hard or accurate and do not string anywhere near as much. So racquets in the hands of rec players can last 10+ years depending on playing level, amount of play and care.

Cheers, TennezSport :cool:
 

KenC

Hall of Fame
#21
In reality, the racquets will last much longer than the usual product cycle. Next year today's model racquets will be marketed to be inferior and everyone will ditch their perfectly fine racquets to buy the latest paint job. So, the material of the racquet lasts a long time, but the paint job lasts about a year, two max.
 
#22
It would be interesting to know scientific facts about new materials fatigue, anyhow I lost to an older guy playing with a pre jurasik Pro Staff and didn't look dead (I mean the racquets).
 
Top