Lifespan of a Racquet

Volkl PB 3
How long does a tennis racquet frame last? Not until it breaks; but how long does it effectively hold its resiliency to play with the ‘pop’ you had when you first bought it?

I just spotted a crack in my Volkl frame; and since the two racquets I play with were at least three years old, thought it would be smart to replace them both at the same time. When I tested the new one against my old one (same gut strings and tension), I could see the noticeable difference in the distance the same groundstroke produced … the new frame’s shots were 4-6 feet deeper.

So is there any real rule of thumb out there on “Lifespan of a Racquet”? Searching the web, you find a really wide range of answers, from “every year” up to 6-9 years “as long as it still feels good.”

Yahoo™ Answers had this seemingly knowledgeable comment:
“For a NRTP of 3.5 to 4.5, we can speak of two summer seasons before the racket is rendered obsolete or “dead,” as most people would say. Above the 4.5 level, the intensity is too variable to be measured this easily, but ’tis certainly faster. In simpler terms, we are speaking of 400 to 500 hours of play with good strokes; it may never break if you do not hit hard at all.”

P.S. on the proposed USTA league changes: If you haven’t read all the comments from that previous post, please check them out. Because, I think we should NOT treat this a “done deal,” but let our voices be heard before it becomes a reality in 2013.

There is no good reason why there should not be both 60’s and 70’s doubles leagues with 4.0 and 4.5 categories (with sectional and national championships).

Communicate with your local USTA rep and let them know how you feel. In Naples, our representative is Linda Kleitch, whose email address is racquets99@aol.com

2 thoughts on “Lifespan of a Racquet

  1. It is NEVER the racket!!!! It is only up to YOU to play a decent tennis. When I started playing a bit better then the majority of my peers (years back!) I used a Dunlop Maxply. On a trip to South Africa, where most of the wooden Maxplies were made, I “balanced” about 50 to 60 rackets in my hand and picked the ones that felt the best balanced for me. I played with them for at least 16 years and was actually quite successful in local tournaments. Ask all the Legends what they thought about those days!

    Today’s manufacturer’s try everything (different colors, different names, fancy composite names, embetted fibres, etc.) to entice you to buy the “latest” model. Evem today’s Pros do not play the rackets you can buy in a shop! They get their rackets “adjusted” to their hands, their wanted balance, the looks and so on.

    My friend here in Costa Mesa used to sell to some of the top Pros in the 60’s and 70’s (I know their names but cannot reveal them) rackets that were painted over with the image of rackets they were endorsing.

    I play with a Kuebler racket since about 11 years now. I have total control with it, why would I change? I have bought them from Sigi Kuebler (the author of Tennis Rackets, the bible for any racket company and racket collector (available through my website). When he retired I bought his last 12 rackets in mine and my wife’s grip size. I cracked one in these 11 years of playing and my wife still has all of the rackets we bought for her grip size. There is no need to change a racket! Once you get used to a racket that you like, buy plenty of the same and play with them until they are all “kaputt”!

    Even today top players pretend to play with new designed racket models. Boris Becker even bought the mold for his favorite composite racket, so he would have it available for years to come.

    I have collected 3,000 plus rackets for my tennis memorabilia collection, which is now in Melbourne for a planned museum. Yes, there are developments after the good old woodies were no longer available in different sizes, different composites, different strings, etc., but it all boils down to what YOU like to play with. Improve your game by practicing and participate in the Tennis Fantasie Week. These Legends improve your game and your attitude for our beloved game, besides the friendships you develop!

    Have fun, enjoy playing, be active, don’t blame weather, courts, opponents, balls, rackets and whatever, it is only YOU alone who can achieve the best tennis!

    Rolf Jaeger

  2. I am 73 and am totally addicted to every facet of Tennis. I played for many years when I was younger but gave up the game for 20 years to play golf. There is no comparison in the rush of energy between the 2 sports. My thoughts are constant-tennis and more tennis.

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