Tension & Temperature

At this time of year I get many comments from players such as “this racquet feels like a board” or “this cold makes my strings stiff”, and so on.

So, the only thing to do is to find out for sure.  Here it is:

I picked three (3) different racquets with different string bed stiffnesses.  I tested for string bed stiffness with three (3) different devices, a Beers ERT300, A Babolat RDC, and a FlexFour.

The inside temperature at testing time was 71 degrees.  For the outside temperature data the racquets were left outside at a temperature of 38 degrees, a difference of 33 degrees for a period of twelve (12) hours.

Racquet Model Testing Device Inside Temperature = 71 Outside Temperature = 38
Tecnifibre 305 ERT300 27 27
RDC 38 38
FlexFour 54.6 53.1
Prince Graphite 100 ERT300 33 33
RDC 53 52
FlexFour 60.3 58.5
Babolat Pure Drive GT ERT300 35 35
RDC 57 56
FlexFour 64 64

Wow!  Look at those numbers!  How can that be?  It looks like the string bed stiffness is not any higher when cold but in a couple of cases is lower!  What the heck is going on?

What is going on is we have confirmed that any “boardiness or stiffness” you feel is in your body not your string! I would suggest you really warm up your body before you play but you don’t need to “heat up” your string.

Posted on January 15, 2011, in Temperature. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I believe the “stiffness” that players feel in the cold is directly related to the ball, not the strings. When the rubber is cold, it simply feels harder and is not as lively off the strings.

    • Nathan Evans

      That’s probably the answer. Originally I was going to ask the question, does the ball fly through the air quicker in the cold ?

Let us have your thoughts on this!