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Strings & Grips by Ken DeHart
Photo by He Junhui on Unsplash

Strings & Grips by Ken DeHart

Tip #1 Strings

 

Why logo your tennis strings?

 

I am not sponsored by a racquet or string company, why would I put a logo on my strings?

 

1. It looks cool – in fact, design your personal logo to put on your strings.

 

2. As the logo begins to wear, it shows where you are making contact with most of your shots.  You can see the wear pattern on the logo and remind you to play more shots in the sweet spot of the racquet.

 

3. As the logo begins to wear out, it reminds you to restring your racquet.  Most players forget that the strings go dead after a period of time. Waiting for them to break is not a recommended notice to restring.  If you play with a poly string, those strings go dead after about 30 hours of play. Now you have a set of dead strings that affects how your shots feel, when you play. Multi-filament strings begin to fray and that is a visual sign to restring as well.  Again, don’t wait until they break at an inopportune time in your match.

 

4. You may not notice your strings are going dead because each time you pick it up the adjustment is small.  However, over a period of time the difference is quite great. In fact when you do choose to get your racquet restrung, you will notice that it feels very different – oops; you waited too long to get it restrung. Don’t blame the stringer when your racquet feels different.

 

5. Keep a record of the kind of string you like to use and the tension you use.  Most stringers keep a record of racquets they string however, keeping a record lets you tell the stringer what you normally use in your racquet.  You can also make modifications on types of strings or string tension as your game progresses.

 

6. String tension – suggestion, in the summertime, string a little tighter as the heat makes the strings stretch more. In the winter time, string a little looser as the strings are stiff from the cold and play tighter.  Also, try not to keep your racquet in your car as the strings change based upon the temperature in your trunk!

 

Tip #2 Grips

 

Get a better grip on your game!

 

The grip on your racquet needs to be changed fairly often as well as your strings.

 

1. As your hand sweats it affects the texture of the grip on your racquet. 

 

2. If you use sunscreen or lotion on your hand, it accumulates on the grip and affects the “feel” of the grip in your hand. The grip can even become slippery. Replacing the original grip needs to be done often depending on several factors:

 

*depending upon how often you play, 

*how much sunscreen or hand lotion you use

*how much you perspire

*for some players it even goes to when was the last time you played.  The grips begin to disintegrate at some point 

 

Replacing the original grip should be done by someone who has experience initially to make it feel like the original grip that came with the racquet.   Applying the grip requires cutting the grip to fit the racquet at the top on a diagonal for a smooth finish and applying the tape to keep the grip in place.

 

3. Overgrip is a less expensive and decorative way to keep a fresh “feel” for your racquet. Overgrips are not as expensive as replacement grips and usually come 3 to a package for about $6 versus about $10-15 for a new replacement grip.

 

4. Remember, the overgrip will build up your original grip by about 1/8.  If your grip was 4 1/4, now it will become 4 3/8. If you are a lover of overgrips, buy your next racquet with that in mind. Smaller grip on your new racquet can now be built up to your desired grip size with the overgrip.

 

5. Colors – the overgrips come in a wider variety of colors to match your outfits, identify your racquet or just to have the color that makes you feel like a winner.

 

6. Directions to learning to wrap your overgrip are easy to obtain. Check out Youtube for a start.  Always start from the bottom and work your way up toward the throat of the racquet. There is a sticky tab that helps you hold the grip in place as you wrap toward the top of the grip.  Careful not to overlap the grip too much to avoid building the grip up more than you want.

 

Your grip or overgrip helps you have that special “feel” for your racquet just like new strings.

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Ken DeHart is a PTR Hall of Famer, PTR International Master Professional, 2 Time PTR international Pro of the Year, USPTA Master Professional and 4 time USPTA Divisional Pro of the Year. He is the Director of Tennis at Silver Creek Valley Country Club in San Jose, California. Ken travels and speaks at conferences and to pros all around the world, Australian, Wimbledon and US Open tennis teachers conferences and writes extensively for magazines and websites. He is a tennis collector with hundreds of books, racquets and tennis memorabilia in his collection. You can follow Ken on Facebook at Ken DeHart Tennis and on Instagram at dehartken.

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