Obviously, you will wear more layers. But about the needs of your footwear? Your racquet? What about your additional accessories?
Although the drop in temperature is more subtle in the Santa Clarita Valley in comparison to other parts of the US, there are some changes you can make to optimize your game and your equipment.
The Paseo Club is a social club in the Santa Clarita Valley with 12 tennis courts, pickleball courts, gym facilities, and a junior-Olympic pool. Often we are asked about tips for improving tennis skills and how to care for equipment.
In this article, we will share how you can enhance your tennis experience during the cold weather months. We will cover the topics of clothing, footwear, racquet care, and a few miscellaneous items too.
How to winterize your clothing for tennis in the Santa Clarita Valley
Cold weather has the same effect on your muscles, tendons, and joints as an ice pack; they contract and tighten as they lose heat.
That is why when the temperatures cool, it is essential to wear layers. Layers keep your body warm, preventing injury by minimizing tension and keeping your muscles flexible.
The key to dressing proper is to dress like an onion. Then you will be able to peel off layers as you warm up.
Base Layer: The base layer should be thin, light, and able to accommodate movement. It should be form-fitting so it does not bunch and wrinkle beneath your other outer layers.
The base layer must also be made from fabric that wicks sweat well. It will keep you dry and prevent you from getting a cold chill.
Tank tops, t-shirts, and long-sleeve shirts made from lightweight wool, silk, or tech fabric are best for base layers.
Middle Layer: The middle layer should be long-sleeved when it is cold. It can be warmer and a bit looser than your base layer. Think of a sweatshirt, light fleece, or some type of pullover.
Outer Layer: Depending on if the wind or rain is up, a light jacket or windbreaker may be just the layer you need to stay dry as you warm up for tennis. If it isn’t windy or wet, you can use a light fleece, sweatshirt, or vest as your outer layer.
Bottoms: Leggings, pants, or sweats should be thicker. If you still want to rock your tennis skirt, just put it on over leggings. If the weather is milder, you can pair it with tall knee socks.
Accessories: Select a hat or cap to keep your head warm. A hat with a brim will also prevent excess sun exposure which can cause skin damage — even in the winter.
A headband that covers your ears and head can also be a great way to stay warm and keep hair out of your face.
Make sure to bring sunglasses to the courts — because the sun still shines in winter in the SCV. Pack extra lip balm as well since the cool air is drying.
How to winterize your tennis racquet for tennis in the Santa Clarita Valley
Tennis racquet strings
Winter is a good time to check the strings of your racquet. You want them to be fresh and a little bit looser for winter.
You can reduce the tension on your strings by approximately two to three pounds or string your racquet with a softer string type.
Consult with a pro at First Serve, located inside the Paseo Club, to ask about the best balance of string and tension to suit your colder weather needs.
Tennis racquet frame
In order to maintain the integrity, and increase the longevity of your tennis racquet, store it somewhere that protects it from temperature extremes.
Extreme heat and cold can warp the frame or cause cracks and splintering. Cold weather, in particular, can cause it to contract.
Try not to leave it in your car for long periods. Instead, choose a protected place in your home where the temperature is fairly consistent and place it in a racquet bag for storage.
How to winterize your footwear for tennis in the Santa Clarita Valley
Since the Santa Clarita Valley is not an area that gets particularly cold temperatures in the winter, your footwear can stay the same as usual.
Some players do like to wear slightly thicker and/or taller socks so cool breezes can not chill their feet or ankles.
How to winterize your tennis accessories in the Santa Clarita Valley
There are a few pieces of miscellaneous gear that most tennis players like to have.
Grips (or overgrips) are a staple tennis accessory, and virtually everyone will go through several of them yearly.
Dry and cold air negatively affects grips so make sure to keep extra on hand. You can also use a golf or tacky glove can when you play as long as it is thin, lightweight, and not too bulky that it affects your game.
Cold weather can be tough on tennis balls, leaving them with a reduced bounce. Select regular-duty balls for play and bring two cans instead of one. Balls can be stored indoors with your racquet to minimize cold weather exposure.
USB-charged hand-warming gadgets are an amazing tool when it is a little chillier outside. They help you hold your racquet even in freezing temperatures and warm you up. They can be found fairly cheap online and make for a great gift.
Staying active on the courts throughout winter
The cool weather can make you want to stay warm and cozy indoors. But playing tennis outside can be both invigorating and fun. It will also help you keep your skills fresh — because in the Santa Clarita Valley tennis does not have to be a seasonal sport.
Knowing how to be comfortable in the cooler temps and taking proper care of your gear is the key to having a successful winter full of playing tennis.
Jen Azevedo is a person of many talents. She is a tennis professional, pickleball professional, personal trainer, group exercise instructor, and the general manager of the Paseo Club. She loves the community at the Paseo Club and that it is also a safe and fun place for her daughter. Jen’s favorite activities are joining her tribe for trail races or her partners for tennis matches. Occasionally Jen slows down to relax with a book — she reads over 100 a year!