Why an increase in tension can be a good thing in the spring

Why an increase in tension can be a good thing in the spring

After 3 months of abuse these rackets are back in the shop for a restring.

3 months is impressive in my book for someone playing 2-3 times a week.

Last time, we strung these up at 45 lbs to increase the comfort for the player. Especially because it was over the cold winter months when everything feels stiffer, including our bodies abused by tennis.

After talking with the player about how everything is feeling, we decided to bump it up to 50 lbs this time around to squeeze a little more longevity out of this setup.

Now if you've seen any of our posts for the last couple years you know I'm all about some low tensions. So let's look into why a slight raise in tension can be a welcome one.

The setup

What we are working with today is a beautiful set of Babolat Pure Aero rackets.

Now we all know Babolat is known for bone jarring-ly stiff rackets but this newer generation of rackets has a nice little swing weight to it (around 330 g) to help buffer the shock.

tip: a heavier racket is less disturbed by ball impact than a lighter version of the racket - which translates to less shock traveling through the racket up into your arm and joints.

For the string we've help the player select Solinco Tour Bite Soft 17 gauge - a soft poly that I've found is a great balance between performance and comfort. Big power, big pocketing, sharp bite.

It's more of a muted feel, but the power that comes from it is huge especially at the lower tensions. Doesn't last as long as some others but like all things it's a compromise.

Moving on to the main article, here are a few reasons why a slight bump in tension can be a good thing.

It's warmer

The change from winter to spring can happen quick around here. You blink and it's 85 degrees all of a sudden.

This heat allows balls to fly through the air easier than the colder denser air of the winter.

It also can warm the strings up slightly and although only a small change, the perception can be a softer, more powerful bed.

So, a bump up of 5 lbs can compensate for this change 

You play more

One thing you probably don't think about is how much more you start to play in the spring time.

From leagues, to socials, to matches, to endless hitting sessions. You play more in the warmer months and your strings get more use and abuse - and they wear out quicker than in the winter.

A small bump in tension can help get more playable time out of your strings. It might be only a week or two. But if it get's you winning a single match, game, or point extra - that's an awesome thing.

Longevity

Now I love to restring every few weeks to try different things, but for most people they need it to last

When you get your racket restrung the tension drops off sharply during the first couple sessions and basically levels off for the rest of their life (although slowly losing a bit more tension)

The lower the starting tension the easier it is for the strings to move around as they wear out - by moving around I mean when you start to see your strings aren't returning to their normal position and are slightly offset.

A bump in tension can help delay this movement and keep things in place for longer

Still in the name of comfort 

This change of course, is in respect to still maintaining a comfortable arm friendly setup.

If your arm is hurting I wouldn't be increasing tension at all, but in this case we're in the clear.

You won't be able to recognize a huge difference in a 5 lb change, but hopefully it'll help you get a little more enjoyment out of your rackets.

And around here, we understand every little bit counts.


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