Just like every other item, you may have your tennis racket in your car at some point. If you have some stops to make, you may wonder whether leaving your tennis racket in the car may have some effects on it.
Leaving your racket in the car isn’t a good idea since the temperatures in the vehicle tend to rise to extreme levels, which may damage your racket’s structure. The heat makes the string bed lose, thereby reducing the stick’s tension beyond repair.
If you love tennis, this is the guide for you. We will tell you all the dos and don’ts of tennis racket care. Read on as we give you all the tips you need.
Can You Leave a Tennis Racket in the Car?
It may seem convenient to leave your racket in the car because you can access it whenever you want to drop by the court. Otherwise, you may be pretty forgetful or don’t want to carry it around when you are doing your errands, but will your racket be safe?
It is advisable not to leave your racket in the car, regardless of the prevailing temperatures outside. The car tends to heat up to extreme levels, which is harmful to your strings and racket frame, depending on its material. Scientifically, if you expose an object to heat, it tends to expand. If the same thing happens to your racket, the strings get loose and lose their tension. Similarly, if your equipment isn’t made of very durable material, it may break or become too flimsy. Consequently, your racket loses the power, stability, and control it initially had and becomes unusable on the court.
Experts say that if your racket stays in the car for about ten minutes, it can lose some pounds of its tension. Depending on the state you live in, car temperatures can get to a whopping 100 degrees, which is disastrous to humans. In the same light, the tennis strings, frame, and grip are also sensitive to heat. Even when you subject your racket to the cold to reverse the effect, the strings will never recover. If it only affects the string, you have to restring it according to a comfortable level of tension.
Otherwise, if it affects your frame, you will have to replace it, which can be pretty costly. Luckily, not all frames can get damaged by the heat. Suppose you have a high-quality racket made of graphite material. In that case, it may survive moderate temperatures since the manufacturers usually ensure that such rackets are very resistant to such extreme levels. However, wood and other materials can break or become brittle, unable to take the pressure of the game. Some owners may say that it is safer to put the racket in the trunk since it is cooler there.
It may be accurate, but it isn’t a foolproof measure because if your car is directly under the sun, the heat can still easily reach your racket. The fall and summer are the worst times to leave your racket there, even under the shade. You may ask about insulated racket bags or racket covers. It is only a temporary measure if you are in transit with your racket in your car but is not a long-term storage plan. Even when it has a lining, the heat may still get to it.
There is no harm in carrying it in a thermal bag when traveling for a short time. However, you may have to keep it more secure if it’s a long trip. Lastly, we must also talk about your racket safety when you leave in the car. Besides extreme temperatures, you also risk theft. Rackets are pretty pricey, therefore, very attractive to carjackers.
How To Keep Your Racket Safe in The Car
If you are pretty forgetful or don’t want to keep taking your racket with you everywhere you go when running errands, you may want to know the best way to keep it in your vehicle. If you have no choice, here’s how to go about it.
You can cover the racket using insulating materials and put it in the back seat instead of the trunk. The car temperatures tend to rise in the first ten minutes of driving; therefore, you can open your windows to allow some cold air into the car that would reduce the heat. Alternatively, some players use ice coolers to keep the equipment at room temperature if it’s summer. Thermo racket bags may also aid in safe storage during extreme weather and help prevent moisture effects.
Your car temperatures can rise to about 240 degrees in the summer or after traveling for many hours, risking damage to your racket. It can also get to freezing temperatures below 30 degrees during winter or on a chilly night. Such extreme heat will interfere with the molecules in the racket’s material, loosening the strings beyond repair. To increase your racket’s lifespan, it is, therefore, best to keep it safe and to avoid leaving it in your car; but if you must, then it is best to take precautions.
One way is by using an insulated thermal bag with a protective lining in the interior. This way, you will be confident that it is safe from heat and moisture. However, it isn’t a foolproof method because your racket may still be subject to damage under extreme conditions. You can also use sleeves to cover the racket and add an insulating material to keep it safe overnight in the car. Some players use ice-cooling boxes to keep the racket at room temperatures under scorching weather. Regardless, the safest place to keep your racket is in your home, where temperatures don’t vary much.
Can Extreme Temperatures Affect Your Racket?
Depending on your location, some regions experience abnormally high or low temperatures. You may therefore wish to know if your racket will be safe under such extreme conditions.
If your racket stays too long in the cold, it tends to become rigid and may break in the process. As a result, it gathers more tension than usual, becoming heavy and stiff, affecting its performance on the court. Secondly, during summer, the sun is scorching hot, which heats the racket. It, therefore, absorbs heat that eventually relaxes the molecules in the frame and the strings. The stringbed will lose its tension that isn’t easy to recover, and the hoop and shaft may get brittle.
A drop or rise in temperatures can damage your racket since the construction material is usually temperature-sensitive. Most rackets use carbon or graphite materials that are good heat conductors, expanding and contracting when they’re too hot or cold. In the vehicle, temperatures may shoot up to about 130 degrees in the hot summer and get higher if you travel long distances. On the other hand, your car can also reach freezing temperatures in the winter or overnight, making it unsafe for your racket.
String tension is one of the most critical aspects of the tennis racket . A racket without string tension interferes with your performance on the court. First, the string won’t be flexible enough to give you the feel you need to take the best shot. Secondly, you will have to exert extra energy to hit the ball across the net. If your string bed is too weak, it may crumble under the brutal force of the ball; therefore, you may have to restring your racket to get the correct tension level.
Some players believe that their rackets are better off staying in the trunk since it is colder than the car’s interior. However, the trunk could also get too hot, causing damages. Fortunately, some very high-quality tennis rackets may take a while before showing signs of destruction from extreme temperatures. Besides, if you don’t travel long distances with your racket in the trunk, the weather may not adversely affect it.
Still, experts suggest that it’s best to refrain from keeping your racket in the car for more than ten minutes or travel in the summer. Finally, note that extreme humidity may also affect your equipment. Therefore, we recommend keeping your valuable equipment under controlled temperatures, preferably indoors.
How To Care for Your Tennis Racket
One essential possession to a tennis player is the racket because you can’t play without it, and it hurts to lose it, given its price point. We understand your concern and are here to help protect your racket.
It is advisable to place your racket in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight or moisture. These conditions can not only threaten your racket’s structure but may also accelerate its aging process. However, if it suffers any damage, it is best to avoid readjusting it yourself, but if you must, ensure that it is careful not to be too tight or too loose. Also, find the proper grip if it comes off to keep the racket comfortable to handle. Lastly, if you have to store your racket in the car, it’s best to avoid stacking other objects over it.
Besides not keeping your racket in the car, there are other preventive measures to take to ensure its durability.
- Avoid Extreme Temperatures
The car is one of the record places where things get heated up quickly, especially during a hot day. If you want to maintain your racket’s structural integrity, it is best to keep it in the house or your office away from direct sunlight. To be sure, even when you are going for a short trip, you can keep it inside a heat-resistant racket bag. Otherwise, you risk damaging the strings, frame, and grip.
- Maintain the Standard Tension Range
When your racket’s tension reduces, it interferes with its performance. You will not have the usual control or power when you play, and it will never feel the same. As a result, you may be tempted to readjust it to regain its previously high tension. The only issue is, you may make it too tight or interfere with its performance. Only the manufacturers know the exact tension range since they have all the test equipment at their disposal. Doing it yourself may not only damage it but also makes the racket lose its warranty validity.
- Avoid Extreme Moisture
The car trunk tends to get pretty humid, especially if you store it with other stuff like sweaty gym clothes and liquid containers. The rain can also damage your racket. Since the consequences are the same as extreme heat, it’s preferable to keep your racket in an enclosed place like a bag with a protective lining.
- Maintain the Grip
The good thing is that it is easy and quick to replace the grip. It may be the cheapest repair for your racket, but it is one of the most critical. Without it, the stick will be too uncomfortable and may lead to injuries on your palms and arms. Given the intensity of vibrations and the sheer force of the ball impact, you need all the cushioning you can get from the handle.
- Use Your racket Responsibly
The best and only way to use your racket is playing tennis, and any other thing becomes misuse. Some use it as a hammer or swatting object, but this can accelerate its aging and even dismantle its structure. Similarly, if you keep it in the car, it isn’t recommended to place it beneath a heavy stack of other items or in the trunk with other junk.
It is understandable to want to leave your racket in the car. Players travel with their equipment and may have to do other errands while they are at it. It is also possible to forget to take it in the house after a long day. The bad news is that the car isn’t the best place to store it. The racket is subject to extreme heat and moisture damage, rendering it useless on the court.
The strings get loose under heat while the frame gets brittle. Therefore, to ensure that your most precious equipment remains viable, it is best to store it in a Thermo racket bag when it’s scorching or keep it covered when it’s freezing. Otherwise, to be safe, we advocate for keeping it at home or in your office.