How often should you replace your tennis strings?

…the expert opinion helps, but it is your choice

yonex racket stringIt is one of the most frequently asked questions when people come into the store and it’s a question that has so many variables to it, such as:

  • Tension
  • Type of string
  • Style of play
  • Stringing machine

Now most of us will have to take some/all of these things in consideration, unless we are playing on tour or have an endless budget to regularly replace our strings.

The main variant is tension. As soon as the racket has come out of the machine, the strings will gradually start to lose tension. In time, you will find that the strings will become ‘slack’, are moving around and you will feel the strings are ‘dead’. If you are finding that you have to adjust your technique in order to compensate for loss of tension, then it’s time for a restring.

Now, somewhere down the line it is said that, however many times you play a week that is amount of restrings you should be getting a year. This is again, dependant on the individual. For the recreational player, who plays 1-2 times a week, they may get away with this. However, for the player that is competing all over the country, you will need your strings to be performing at their highest each tournament and if you are good enough to have made it to tour level, then you will be getting restrings before each match.

Essentially, it is all down to the individual. Factors such as style of play, type of string, level of competition, money and your personal preferences can all contribute.

Some strings, depending on the construction and material, will start to fray over time. Very soft multifilament’s such as Babolat Xcel, Wilson NXT, Yonex Multi-Sensa will do this as multifilament’s are made from thousands of fibres. Monofilament/Polyester strings such as Babolat RPM Blast, Luxilon Alu Power, Solinco Tour Bite will just snap/pop rather than fray. When choosing your string we ask what sort of style your game is. This is a contributing factor as to how quickly you could need a restring. If you hit quite a flat ball, you may find that you won’t need a restring that often. However, if you hit with a lot of top spin and are fairly aggressive from the baseline you may need to change your strings more often as there will be more string movement, which will cause more friction on the string bed (depending on the type of string it is, the gauge and tension).

If you are playing at a decent level, whether that be a good club level, county level or even higher, you will probably have 2 or more rackets in your bag. Most people will have a favourite racket that they will immediately pick up. Obviously, the more you play with one racket, the more wear you will put on that set of string. I would always recommend ‘cycling’ through them (Pick your racket from the right hand side and put it back on the left hand side) to avoid having a favourite and therefore, getting your worth from each restring because if you just leave your other rackets lying in your bag and you break your strings on your ‘favourite’ then you won’t feel the same when using your others (We will be doing a blog on this soon!)

Lastly, having your rackets strung on an electronic stringing machine could make all the difference, compared to having it strung on drop weight machines etc. Electronic machines should (depending on how well you look after them) be pulling tension at exactly what it is supposed to be. There is always that scepticism on any other type of machine that it won’t pull up how it is meant to. If your rackets aren’t being strung to how you want them, then this isn’t very cost effective. The machine we use is the Yonex ProTech 8 (Used at the Australian Open) and it features a self-calibration device self-calibrates for 10 minutes when turned on and is cleaned every Monday morning to ensure it is performing at its highest level.

All in all, it is really dependent on so many factors as to how often you should get a restring and very much down to you as an individual.