Tennis racquets/rackets are some of the most durable sports equipment in the world. They are easy to take care of and even without care they last a pretty long time. Unless of course, you do not smash the racquet in one of those frustrating moments in your tennis matches. But it’s life you know, an anything can break. You just have to be a little careful and even if it does break I’ll outline some steps to diagnose which part of the racquet is broken and if it is either fixable or not. Most of the problems might not be fixable and you will have to replace the racquet/racket so bear that in mind when reading.
So, to get a fair idea of what is wrong with your racket there are a few guidelines that I follow and it works most of the time. If your racket is not salvageable then I would recommend getting a new racket and I have reviewed two rackets recently in my Babolat Pure Strike 18×20 vs 16×19 article.
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Your Strings Are Broken
This is the most common problem and it isn’t even a problem, it’s pretty much a normal thing. Strings usually get broken at the mains and I advise you to get all the strings redone. People sometimes get only that string fixed which was broke but I’ll advise you to not do that as it creates uneven string tension and can cause damage to your racket which in some cases might break.
You Feel a Change In The Feel Of The Racquet
This is a little harder to find but if you are an experienced player who has been playing for around 6 months to a year you should be able to notice a difference if there is something wrong with your racquet. If the racquet starts to feel different, the shots do not feel as crisp as they used to when you first purchased it. Maybe the ball loses power when you hit it or goes in a weird direction. I recommend that if these symptoms do arise in your racquet to exam the racquet thoroughly.
Sometimes, hairline fractures/cracks can develop in racquets/ rackets and they can be extremely hard to find. If there are any cracks and they seem to be all around the part of that frame then I am sorry to say that the racquet might be done for. There are repair shops that might be able to fix it for a month or two but the racquet will never feel the same and rather than spending money to get it fixed I would say just get a new racquet at this point even if you have to buy a cheap one because it will save you more money in the long run than getting it repaired over and over again.
The Racquet Starts Making Weird Sounds That It Did Not Use To Before
This can happen to almost all racquets/rackets but cheaper racquets that you bought from the local Walmart are more prone to this. Either the tension on the strings is too high for the flimsy frame or you accidentally dropped the racquet particularly hard. And now when you hit a shot it makes different noises when it hits the ball. It can be particularly alarming to someone who’s starting out with tennis and more often than you will have to change your racquet because if you do not that particular crack or fracture in the frame will get bigger and bigger and a time will come that the racquet will break apart in your hands and that can be particularly dangerous as it happened to my brother. The racquet broke from the throat and flew from his hand and hit me, luckily it was not in a harmful place and I got a minor bruise but it can be very dangerous
You can analyze the racquet to see if the damage is big or small and if it is small, you can keep playing if you are a beginner because beginners do not use a lot of power and you can still enjoy your darling racquet before getting a new one.
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Butt Cap Coming Off
Another problem with cheaper racquets/rackets that the butt cap of the racquet where the grip starts from starts coming off and that happened to me when I was starting out and had a very cheap racquet.
This is a fixable problem if you are a little hardware savvy or have a hardware shop nearby. You unwrap the grip that comes with the racquet and you’ll notice that the butt cap is held on by some big staples. Remove the staples carefully and pour some good industrial glue inside the butt cap and reattach it to the butt of the racquet. Then restaple the butt cap it with some industrial grade stapler. Re-grip your racquet and you should be good to go. The industrial super glue should hold on indefinitely and should be better than the stuff that came on with the racquet previously.
Grommets of the racquet/racket are broken
Grommets are things that your strings are inserted into to align them otherwise there would be no way to form a web of mains and crosses. These are pretty easy to get replaced from sports stores or online but they can be tricky to diagnose sometimes. They can get broken during stringing procedures where the stringer accidentally one nipple while tying a knot. The problems they cause is cutting the string in the place where the grommets are broken. Grommets provide a soft cushion for the strings to stretch but when they are not there or broken they frame of the racquet has the ability to cut the strings no matter what type of string you choose.
When the grommets are broken I recommend getting them changed or if you feel up to the challenge you can order them from Amazon or Tennis Warehouse for your racquet/racket and replace them yourself. You can check for yourself on Amazon for current pricing for your particular racket/racquet. But if you have those Walmart rackets you might have to get a new one as those might not have replacement grommets.