Okay! So you’ve just bought a nice racquet and you’re excited to play. But there are some things you can and should do to take care of that equipment you just bought.
- It goes without saying to never bang your racquet out of frustration. This will chip the racquet on the frame, eventually causing it to lose structural integrity. You may accidentally break it even. Throwing a racquet is a disgusting display. Keep your temper tantrums to the school-yard sand pit.
- Sometimes during a point the racquet frame will scrape against the ground leaving ugly marks on your racquet, or chipping it. You can purchase protective tape to put around the frame of your racquet, or what I do is just use duct tape as a protective layer against scrapes and nicks.
- Don’t get anything oily – sunscreen, grease, whatever – on your hands before touching your grip. It will ruin the grip and pretty soon you’ll be replacing your grips all the time, and at $10 per grip, that can add up! So make sure to wash your hands with soap a few times before heading out to play, and to not wipe sweat from your brow or shirt or anything on your hands while playing. In hotter climates it may be worthwhile to purchase a wristband.
- Don’t leave your racquet in the heat – either direct exposure to sunlight, or heat from leaving it in the trunk of your car. Relatively high temperatures can warp the frame of your racquet and ruin that $200 you just spent. Most higher-end racquets will come with a thermal sleeve because of this, to protect them from temperature extremes.
- Invest in a tennis bag. They’re big enough to fit the racquet in its sleeve, tennis balls, warm up equipment, drinks, and a change of clothes. It’ll make you feel and look more legit too.
Now that you know how to take care of your racquet, time to learn to “Grip it and Rip it”. Lesson 4: Proper Tennis Grips