Tennis players give inside look on equipment

AS PLAYERS BECOME more advanced, they may break their strings as often as every couple of days. Kevin Clack, Sports Editor

You need more than a ball and a racket to play tennis.

Though non competitive players may not know it, tennis has come a long way from the days of wooden rackets fitted with string made from the stomach lining of animals. We asked a couple of Newman tennis players about the equipment they grew up using in the game of tennis. 

Product: Tennis Racket

What is it?

Over the past 30 years, the tennis racket has dramatically changed. Originally made from wood, rackets are now bigger and are constructed from lighter, long-lasting, materials that allow players to make contact with the ball better. A modern player can now choose between rackets made from aluminum or graphite. As easy it sounds, senior Alejandro Gonzalez said choosing a racket is not that simple. “It all depends on your type of game. There are some that are made for power and some that are made for control, so finding a racket that’s right for you can take some time,” he said. 

How much does it cost? 

Tennis rackets range from beginner and junior rackets costing $50 to intermediate and advanced rackets costing $150 to $250. 

Product: Racket Strings

What is it used for?

The strings in a racket can make or break a player. In the early days of tennis, stomach lining from cows and cats were dried out into long strips and strung into tennis rackets. Today, you can find more modern rackets using nylon and even titanium. However, the days of using stomach lining are not over. Gonzalez said sometimes it is the best option. “Using gut can be beneficial because it’s very durable, especially for people who break their strings a lot,” he said.

How much does it cost?

There are two options for purchasing tennis string. A player could buy a set for around $13 or a reel for about $170. A set is  has enough string for one racket. A reel has enough string for about 16 rackets. 

Product: Tennis Racket Stringing Machine 

What is it?

When most beginners start playing tennis, they purchase rackets with strings already in them. But what happens when you break those strings? As a player becomes more advanced, they may break stings anywhere from once a week to every couple of days. Senior Enrique Coiras said this part of the game is tedious. “Stringing rackets is something that is very time consuming especially for someone like me who breaks my strings every four or five days. It is just something you have to get used to ,” he said. The stringing machine allows players to control how much tension the strings have. You can relate racket stringing to how tight or loose you tie your own tennis shoes. 

How much does it cost?

Being one of the most expensive items in the game, a player can expect to pay more than $1,000 for even the most basic stringer. Typically, universities and tennis pro shops have stringers, so players do not need shell out a lot of money for one. 

This story first appeared in the November 16, 2017 issue of The Vantage.