Perhaps you've noticed a change in your tennis game lately, and you're wondering why your performance seems a little "off." Maybe one of your favorite shots isn't as effective as it normally is, or you're not getting the same crisp "pop" from your racquet that you're used to. Is it time for a new racquet? Below are some key points to help you make that determination.
Signs That Your Racquet is On Its Way Out
One of the first signs that your racquet is about to "give up the ghost" is when restringing no longer makes any difference in its performance. If you hit the court after a brand new string job and your racquet plays basically the same as before, more than likely the frame is on its last leg. At this point, the racquet might feel a little soft or "splashy" when you hit the ball, and it will be difficult to get a sense of where the ball is making contact with the stringbed. If your racquet is showing any of these signs, it's probably time to go ahead and get it replaced.
Factors That Influence Your Racquet's Lifespan
The average lifespan of a tennis racquet can range anywhere from 2 to 10 years or more, depending on a number of key factors:
- How often you play - As you would expect, an avid five-days-a-week player will wear out a racquet quicker than a more casual player who only hits the court once a week.
- How hard you hit - If you're a power player who likes to hit hard, your shots will put more strain on a racquet versus another player who adopts more of a "finesse" approach.
- Where you play - If you primarily play outdoors, you can expect your racquet to endure some additional wear and tear due to being exposed to the elements. Also, keep in mind that humidity and extreme temperatures can negatively impact the lifespan of a racquet, so if you live in a very humid climate or one that has harsh winters, more than likely you will need to replace your racquet more frequently than if you were living in a dry, moderate climate. This is just one of the many benefits of having access to an indoor tennis facility such as Five Seasons Family Sports Club – in addition to being able to enjoy year-round access to top-quality tennis courts, the climate-controlled indoor environment can help preserve the life of your tennis racquet as well!
- Where and how you store your racquet - If you keep your racquet in the corner of your garage or in the trunk of your car, it will be subject to fluctuations in temperature that can affect its performance. The best option is to store your racquet in a thermal-lined racquet bag that can protect it from humidity and extreme temperatures.
Summing It All Up
If your tennis racquet is suffering from lackluster performance, your first step should be to get it restrung, as it is often the loss of string tension that produces a mushy or "squashy" feel when you hit the ball. But once you've had your racket restrung and it seems to make no difference in how it plays, more than likely it's time to start looking for a new racquet. As you're shopping around, keep the old adage in mind that "You get what you pay for." This doesn't mean that you have to go out and buy a top-of-the-line, pro-level racquet, but you can generally expect the quality and durability of the racquet to improve relative to its price point. Just remember to keep it stored in an appropriate bag when not in use, and you should be able to enjoy several years of quality performance from your tennis racquet.