Rackets seem pretty straightforward in the shop. You think you buy a frame with some chord and you step on to court to give it a heavy swing. That’s it, right? Well, I can’t argue with you that you have the basics spot on. But the devil is, as always, in the details. Why is it that some old school rackets look brand new, for example? Why do some 2021 frames look like… well, 2012? It’s because in the differences of taking care of your racket and storing your racket is just a part of that.
The best way to store a racket is to put in your racket bag and put in a cool, spacious place. Before you put it away, make sure it’s cleaned out properly and the strings are put in place. If you broke a string and need to restring, you can decide to cut out the strings already, because this will prevent the frame from warping. This will also help with cleaning.
If you’re strings are fine, but it’s the end of the seasons you might want to cut out the strings too. I recommend restringing at the beginning of every seasons (regardless of playing frequency) because strings tend to dry out and lose tension while being put away. If you cut the strings diagonally in both directions, you’re fine.
But what’s the best way to store a racket when it’s high season? What if you are in the store and you want to buy a new frame? What’s the best way to protect it? You’ll find that a lot of tennis players will carry around large racket bags, with enough space to put away even 12 rackets. They probably like to walk around like professionals, but there is a bit more to it. They prefer the space, not for having 12 freshly strung rackets, but to store their accessories efficiently. Of course, you would want to store some tennis balls, but don’t forget stuff like water bottles, towells, caps, wrist bands, grips. Maybe you want to take normal shoes to court, because you don’t want the clay to mess up your car. Got some lunch with you too? You see, accessories might take more space than you thought, especially once you start to play more and more intense.
Now there are quite some racket bags out there and I’ll write another article on that, but for now I would just stick with the basic advice of only go for a single racket bag if you’re totally new to the game and you just want to test the water. If not and you’re a bit more advanced, try to find a racket bag where you can fit at least 6 to 9 rackets in. Again, not that you need that amount of rackets, but it’ll give you the space to put away your most important accessories.