As anyone who enjoys racket sports knows, a well-strung racket will do a lot to help your performance. Many players wait until a string breaks before restringing their squash racket, but there are other reasons for doing so.
Why Should You Restring Your Squash Racket?
- Broken string. This is the most obvious reason and also why many players have a spare racket. You don’t want to be out of the game waiting for yours to be restrung.
- Tension. We all like to play with a different tension and if you play regularly, the pressure put on the strings will eventually alter the tension. With use the strings will lose their elasticity and will become taut. This is when you can break a string, but you will also notice a difference in your game as the ball won’t react in quite the same way as you are used to.
One thing you may not consider will have an impact on the strings is the weather. You play indoors, so how could the weather affect your racket? Warming up the ball is an important part of the game. In warmer weather conditions, the ball will warm up a lot quicker than in a colder climate. This puts more pressure on your strings.
If you notice that your game is not quite as good as it was, check your strings. Depending on how you play and which balls you use, if you play at least 3 times a week, you should have your racket restrung 3 times a year at the minimum. When you send your racket to be restrung, always keep a note of the strings which have been used and the tension. You will need this to make sure that your racket always comes back ready for you to use.
Your string tension is very important to keep your game consistent. If your tension loosens, and it will after use, you will notice it in the way you play. Rackets always have a recommended string tension and this is mostly between 24-30lbs.
If you have a higher tension, you get less power when you hit the ball, but you will get better control. If you want more control, you should aim for a lower tension. As you progress in the sport, you will soon find the best tension for your game so make sure you know what that is very time your racket is restrung.
Once you have the right tension and strings you feel comfortable with, always stick to the same combination or when you get your racket back, you may find it reacts very differently. You can, of course, use it as an opportunity to try out a new combination, but most players prefer to know how their racket will handle.
The most common choice of strings is natural gut or synthetic.
- Natural gut strings are often used in tennis rackets, and they are the more expensive option. They do, however, give you greater control over the ball.
- Synthetic strings are more commonly used, and most manufacturers use these in their rackets. These strings can be one piece or monofilament, many bits twined together or multifilament or nylon.
String gauge is also important.
- Professional players tend to prefer thinner strings as these give you more control, but they are also the more expensive option. They are also more likely to break.
- Thicker strings last longer but you will find you have a little less control.
This is often the deciding factor for many players as regular restringing can be quite costly. Depending on your choice of string, it can cost between £10 and £25.
If you don’t know where to find companies who can string your racket, ask at the sports centre where you play. They may have the contact details of companies who offer a restringing service, or they may even be able to help you themselves. Your local sport shops may also be able to help. The time it takes will obviously depend on the company you use and their own workload.
To Finish Up
It is possible to restring your racket yourself, but if you want to try this you would be better getting some experience of the game and your racket first. You will also need to purchase a restringing machine and these can be expensive so it is only really an option for those who are serious about their game. There is so much which can go wrong if you try to restring yourself that it is often worth the investment of paying a professional to do it for you.