Factors to consider when choosing strings.

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How many of you have considered this?

Over the last few weeks I've strung a lot of rackets and one of the things I make sure to do is to involve the player in the conversation.  This may sound like a silly comment to make, but what has amazed me more than anything else I thought I would encounter, is the amount of stringers out there who never ask the player anything.  It's like they know what the player should be using and they don't need to ask them.

Here's the thing, you can not string someone elses' racket without getting their input!!  (Ok rant over).

I always like to find out as much as I can about the player and their type of game and one of the things I have mentioned is to consider changing tension and or type of string to suit the weather conditions you are playing in.

A general rule of thumb, for those who don't change their strings regularly, is to at least change them twice a year.  My way of justifying that to them is to change for the weather.  In warmer conditions the rubber core of the ball heats up quicker and is more pliable, which means it is easier to propel.

In colder conditions the opposite applies.  Here are a few scenarios to consider:

Court Surfaces:  On hard surfaces (such as cement and even some of the artificial grass surfaces) the ball tends to move faster because less energy is absorbed from the ball by the court.  To regain control of the ball on this type of surface you should raise your tension.  Any raising or lowering of tension that I mention should only be done in small increments (2-4lbs max either way).  If you are going to be playing on clay or other soft surfaces, the ball will travel at a slower pace.  This means players have more control and more time to react.  Drop your tension a couple of pounds to help generate the extra power required.

Altitude and Temperature:  At higher altitudes balls move faster because there's less friction in thinner air.  High temperatures cause balls to move faster as the heat softened rubber ball becomes more pliable and easier to propel.  You should consider raising tension to help with the control.  With colder temperatures tension should be lowered to help generate power.

Injuries:  Arm or wrist trouble, I would recommend you drop the tension.  This allows you generate more power with less effort.  If you do suffer from arm problems you might want to look at your grip size too.  Other stringing factors that can help with arm injuries are string thickness and string texture.  the best string to use for arm problems, taking into account our weather, is multifilament string.  This is a very soft, comfortable and powerful string and will definitely take pressure off your arm.  Choosing a thinner string can also help.  Thinner strings are more pliable and this elasticity helps absorb some of the initial impact.

Here's my last point (well actually a point I read in an article by racket and string brand Tecnifibre) rackets weighing under 300grams should not use polyester string as this makes a stiff racket way too stiff.

I hope you found this article useful, as always if you have any questions please get in touch.

 

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