Included in your tennis bag, along with a towel, sunscreen, a change of clothes, clean socks, grips, water bottle, anti-choking pills (if not in liquid form), a second racquet…should be a pair of nail clippers, the kind you buy at a drugstore or your local Target.
I BET YOU’RE WONDERING WHY
Okay, here is the scene:
You’re out on the court playing a match, or taking a lesson or out with a friend practicing and then, unexpectedly you hear that unusual sound at impact and you notice that your strings have popped. What do you do after you realize that you have broken the strings in your racquet?
As soon as you see that your strings are broken, go to your tennis bag, find your pair of nail clippers and clip out all the unbroken strings, alternating between the cross strings(horizontal strings) and the main strings(vertical strings). Clip them from the center outwards. I recommend that you leave the clipped strings in the frame – it will be reference material for the person who is going to string your racquet. For example, the stringer will know the type of strings you had in your racquet, and among other things, whether your racquet was strung in the two or four knot method(that’s for another post).
Why go through all the trouble? Consider these points if you don’t clip:
- Uneven tension on the head of the racquet – tensions range from 50-75 pounds of pressure
- An unevenly distributed load on the racquet
- The structural integrity of the frame is compromised
- Exposes the racquet to structural fatigue
- The longevity of the frame will be adversely affected
- The design of the racquet – some racquets are more prone to structural fatigue
- The age of the frame– a racquet which has been strung numerous times is more vulnerable to the effects of uneven tensions
Any structural engineer will affirm that uneven pressure on a structure or frame is not a good thing – and, in this case, we’re talking about your racquet.
Recently, I was perusing the latest issue of Tennis magazine, the one highlighting the racquets of 2015, and as I was reading the specifications of each racquet, I noticed the prices – it’s quite a little investment, especially if you need two of them.
Stack the odds in your favor; clip the unbroken strings and relieve the undue tension on your racquet. By doing so you will retain the playing characteristics of the frame and prolong the life of the racquet.
Better to be safe than sorry!
Have fun on the courts!