Here are a few of the top reasons you should be restringing your tennis racquet periodically:

  • Tension Loss
  • String Performance
  • Prevent Overcompensation
  • Reduce Shock
  • Avoid Frustration

Tension Loss
The first, and most apparent reason, to replace your tennis strings is that they will lose tension over time. When you install a new set of strings, it’s kind of like purchasing a car. The moment you drive a new car off the lot, it automatically loses value. Similarly, your tennis strings begin to lose their tension immediately after you string. In the first 24 hours after stringing, strings can lose roughly 10 percent of their tension. This reduction in tension continues as time goes by, and you get out on the court and start hitting.

String Performance
As your strings go dead, they begin to lose their performance characteristics, which you may have bought them for in the first place.
For example, polyester strings can help a player maximize their potential for topspin. However, as they lose their tension, they also lose their resilience and snapback effect, which is part of how they help players generate topspin.

Prevent Overcompensation
One of the worst things that can happen to a player is they begin to adjust their technique, or an instructor or coach tells them to adapt their technique to compensate for a loss in tension with their strings. Since the tension of your strings can have a significant impact on the power and control you generate when hitting, it’s worth replacing your tennis strings consistently to make sure you can perform your best.

Reduce Shock
Maintaining a freshly strung racquet can help cut down on shock and therefore increase comfort. Of course, if comfort is a top priority, you’ll want to be using an arm-friendly string. However, even the best strings for tennis elbow will lose their comfort factor over time.

Avoid Frustration
Most recreational players only have one tennis racquet. As a result, if you break a string, it’s likely going to prevent you from playing altogether or cut your playing time short. There’s nothing more frustrating than showing up excited to play only to break your strings after your first few hits. Regularly restringing can help ensure you get to take advantage of every minute you set aside to play.

Why change your tennis strings?

How to know it's time to change strings

There are a few different things you can keep in mind to help you determine when it’s time to change your strings.

Visual Indicators:
In some cases, it’s relatively easy to spot when it’s time to replace your strings by giving them a close look.

  • Notching: As you play tennis, your strings will rub together and produce friction, which causes the strings to notch. If you look closely, you’ll notice that notches form at the intersection of strings toward the middle of your racquet. If you see that these notches are getting deep, it’s likely a good time to rest.
  • Fraying: natural gut and multifilament strings are composed of tiny fibers that will fray over time. It’s a natural part of the wear for these strings, but it can be a great indicator of when you might want to consider restringing as it intensifies.

Keep in mind that polyester strings won’t fray because they feature a single solid filament construction.

Feel Indicators:

  • A Loss in Control: As your strings wear and lose tension, it can become more difficult to control the ball. It usually won’t be drastic, but if you’re finding yourself hitting just long, hitting more unforced errors or having difficulty placing the ball, then it might be time for you to restring.
  • Difficulty Generating Spin: As certain strings like polyester lose tension, there will be a reduction in the snapback of the main strings, which leads to the feeling that it’s harder to generate topspin. If you sense this feeling, and it’s been a while since your last string job, then you might be time for a new set.
  • Lack of Pop: when your strings are fresh, they’re also resilient, which means they can effectively return energy to the ball. As time goes on, your strings will lose their resilience, making it challenging to hit with as much power.

All in all, the feel of your strings will change over time, and their response will too. Each player might describe the change in the response of their strings differently, but as you begin to detect these changes, you’ll become more confident in knowing when to restring.

When in doubt, we’d encourage you to err on the side of restringing more frequently for optimal performance.