Tennis players seldom think about this, but ambient temperature has a major impact on stringbed stiffness, performance. and durability. For indoor tennis players, this is not a major issue. It’s pretty much the same temperature indoors on the tennis courts at The Riverside Club in January as it is in July. For outdoor players, however, this is a major consideration.
In April/May, it is not unusual for outdoor tennis players to experience lows near freezing when the sun goes behind a cloud. In July, by contrast, a sunny day on an asphalt court can generate on-court temperatures near 40 degrees Celsius. Naturally, this 40 degree difference has a significant effect on string elasticity and this, in turn, affects both performance and durability.
In general, outdoor tennis players in Calgary are going to string at slightly lower tensions that outdoor tennis players in Vancouver or Toronto. Meanwhile, the same players in Calgary will string at significantly lower tensions that players in Houston or Miami. This is because average daily summer temperatures in Calgary are a bit lower than in Vancouver and significantly lower than summer temperatures in the southern USA.
Performance Issues at Cool Temps
Cold days are especially hard on polyester strings. Stiff to begin with, they get even stiffer when it is cold. In fact, a racquet strung with poly may seem just fine in July when it is 25 degrees Celsius, but will seem impossibly tight in early May when wind chill drops the temperature to below five degrees.
This fact is only one of many, many reasons why the staff at Racquet Network are trained NOT to recommend polyester strings to most of our clients who play tennis outdoors. Stiff string beds lead to tennis elbow. Stiff string beds lead to shoulder injuries. And stiff string beds contribute to the development of poor stroke habits.
Benefits of a Softer String Bed
Instead, our staff are trained to advised customers of the benefits of using flexible string beds. First among these are the health benefits, beginning with less stress on elbows and shoulder. Second is the increase in power. For players with good technique, more power equals more spin and more spin equals more balls in. And finally, lower tensions contribute to longer string life.
In Calgary, where the temperatures outdoors are rarely genuinely hot, a softer stringbed is essential. Over-stringing can lead to injuries, bad habits and broken strings. If you have recently moved here from somewhere else, this is something you may want to keep in mind. If you’ve lived here and have never really thought about this, perhaps it’s time you did.
The following questions may appear on tests related to this article. Use them to test your reading comprehension and prepare for the CERTIFIED EXPERTS TEST – RACQUET SERVICE.