Friday, June 22, 2018

Will Wet Courts or Weather Affect My Racket or Strings?

It is the time of the year in Florida when playing tennis is very weather dependent. It seems to rain most days and sooner or later, you will find yourself playing on wet courts or even finishing in the rain.
We get asked if doing so will hurt their strings or rackets. For the most part, the answer is no.
The rackets will not be affected by water with the exception of the grips. They will take time to dry out and may not last as long if getting saturated often (yes, that includes perspiration).
As for strings, poly and synthetic strings are not negatively affected by rain. Natural gut strings are another story. They are very dehydrated and will absorb moisture when they can. This will cause them to lose performance and longevity.  In addition, keeping a racket strung with natural gut in a garage this time of year will hurt the overall performance and durability. Keeping them inside in the air conditioning will keep them playing better, longer.
There is one thing to consider when playing on wet courts or in the rain. The balls will absorb the moisture and will get heavier. Impact with a wet ball will feel different. This is more from the ball than the strings. It will not hurt the synthetic or poly strings to play in those conditions.

Friday, June 1, 2018

A Better Grip in Hot Weather

With hot weather on it's way, many tennis player's concern turns to making sure the racket isn't slipping from sweat. There are several things you can do to insure a good grip on your racket on even the warmest days.
The first thing that can be done is the simplest. Make sure you're changing your grip or over grip more often. Worn grips are already more likely to slip or turn in your hand. Add heat and humidity to the equation and it gets way, way worse.
Replacing over grips every match or two for those who sweat a lot is a very good idea. The base grips can go longer, but at the point they look or feel warn, get it changed.
There are several other things that you can get that will help.

  • Tac Rags - these towels have a tacky substance in them that can be used to wipe your grips or a hands, making them far more sticky. If you don't like a really sticky feel, this may not be the way to go, but for players who sweat a lot, this can help keep the racket in your hand.
  • Get-A-Grip Lotions - They have one that, when applied to your hands will make them more tacky. Another will give your hands a dry feel. 
  • Wilson Progrip Max - This is basically anti-antiperspirant for your hands. You squirt a little in an hand and rub it in. Depending on how much you sweat, it will keep your hands dry for as long as a set or more. Those who have excessive sweat may need to re-apply often.
  • Rosin Bags - For player who don't sweat to much, this can be a way of making your hands feel drier. You just toss it in your hand a few times for a better, drier grip.
Other things that can help are wristbands and having several towels available to wipe your hands off on between points. Stop by our Dale Mabry store and we can help you find the option that will work best for you.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Should I do anything different with my strings in hot weather?

"Should I do anything different with my strings in hot weather?"

The answer to this question has two answers. On-court and off-court.
On the court, here in the Tampa Bay area, the answer for most players is no. It just isn't cold enough, long enough to have changed anything in your stringing due to the cold weather. Up north, players will often lower their tension to balance out the cold's effect on the ball and the strings. Around here, it is warm enough most of the year that once summer arrives, you really won't have to change anything. For some big hitters, they may notice a slight loss of depth control, so going up in tension will help. For the rest of us, unless you notice a drop in control (from strings less than 2-3 months old), you can keep them the same.
Off the court, there is something you need to do differently in really hot (mid-80's and higher) weather. Keep your rackets out of your car when possible. Living in Florida, we all know how hot our cars get in even a short time parked. This extreme heat can cause strings to lose tension far quicker than you'd think. The authors of "Technical Tennis" found in their research, “Ten minutes in a really hot car will drop the string tension by at least a few pounds, permanently."
Don't forget the racket itself. Heat can break down the frame and the grips. Over the years we have seen many rackets that broke prematurely due to being left in the car during the day.
Overall, here in the Tampa Bay area, if you are keeping your rackets out of the extreme heat of a car, there may not be any other changes you'll need to make to keep them playing great.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Should I Get an Oversize Racket

Should I get a racket with a larger head size?
We get asked this question all the time. Our answer is usually to ask a few questions to be able to better answer correctly.
Basically, if you need more margin of error or more depth on your shots, a larger head can be a good idea. The larger head creates a more trampoline-like effect when the ball hits, helping you gain more depth with less effort. Also, being larger, the sweet spot is going to be larger.
Another benefit is that very often the larger headed rackets are also among the lightest. This can be a big help for those who want more racket speed and added power.
An oversized head can be an issue for those who generate plenty of power on their own. The extra trampoline effect can hurt control and spin potential for those players. These players will most often gain more from a mid-size racket.
If power is a major concern, a larger head size can be a great way to go.
As always, the best way to know for sure which head size is best for you is to try before you buy. With our Demo Program you can try as many rackets as you need while we help guide you to the best fit for you.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

MP Tennis Tip - The Backhand "The Forward Swing" Part 1

In this video, Mike shows how to start the forward swing and the fundamentals of getting the racket to impact.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

A question we are asked from time to time is, "what are the numbers on tennis balls for?"
Over the years we have heard many wrong answers such as, "the higher the number, the higher the bounce", and "certain numbers are for hard courts."
The real answer is simple. The number is there for identification. If you have a can of 1's and your friend has a can of 2's, when you're done you'll know whose balls are whose.
There is nothing more to it than that.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Fairly often, we will get someone come into our store with two rackets with broken strings. The question they usually ask is,
"why did the strings break on both in the same match?"
The reason is pretty simple.
They were equally used, therefore, equally worn.
Think of it like this. You have two identical trees in your front yard and you are going to chop them down. You decide to hit one tree with an ax, then the other. You keep taking turns, hitting one, then the other. When the first tree goes over, the other should be very close to falling as well.
It is the same thing with your strings on multiple rackets. If you are alternating them perfectly, when a string goes on one, they are going to be very close to breaking on the other.
So, what should you do?
There are a few ways to avoid this problem. The first and most obvious is to use one until it breaks and save the other. This will greatly increase the chance of getting through a tournament without the other breaking or just until you can get the other restrung.
There are some players who don't like saving a racket. For those, a good way to do it would be to use one racket more than the other (think 70% of the time for one, 30% for the other). This will keep enough difference in wear that you should be able to get through a match or two with some confidence.
One thing to keep in mind is that I am talking about string breakage through wear and use. Mis-hit breaks and breaks caused by things other than wear are unpredictable and the above won't help.
The biggest thing to consider is that you want to be able to get through the rest of your match or tournament with your backup racket without unnecessary fear of breakage. By making sure your backup has significantly less wear will help get you through with much less worry.