How to Replace a Tennis Racket Bumper in 3 Simple Steps

How to Replace a Tennis Racket Bumper
  • Cut Out All Strings From the Racket
  • Push the Original Bumper Out Using the Grommets
  • Add the Fresh Bumper and Push Grommets All the Way Through

   Your Guide

Gavin Davison   Gavin Davison

Over time, our tennis rackets take a fair bit of punishment out there on the court.

One of the main parts of the racket that shows this is the bumper.

This is the part on top of the racket that tends to get scuffed up for many reasons.

Personally, I have a habit of hitting the ground with the bumper if I am hitting a low slice backhand.

Naturally, the more I do this, the more that the bumper starts to wear through.

And if you let the bumper get really bad, you can actually start to damage the frame of the racket itself.

Now, if you have played a fair bit of tennis before you will know how significant this can be.

And as I always like to say, PREVENTION IS CHEAPER THAN THE CURE.

I say this because should you continue to play with a worn-out bumper, you run many risks – with the most extreme being a full break of the racket.

This means you would need to spend in excess of $200 for a brand new racket if that happened.

But if you had replaced the bumper, which costs around $20 if you had to do it yourself, you would have saved quite a bit of money.

So hopefully, you can see the importance of learning how to replace your tennis racket bumper.

And on that note, I’d like to now proceed by explaining exactly how you can do this.

Replacing the Racket Bumper – Step by Step

I’d like to kick things off by stating that replacing the bumper on your racket isn’t overly difficult.

People often believe that it is, and this prevents them from taking the action necessary to replace the bumper in the first place.

However, I can assure you that this isn’t the case.

In fact, once you have bought a fresh racket bumper to put in, you can complete the whole replacement within a few minutes.

So without further ado, let’s get into the actual steps necessary to replace the bumper on your racket.

STEP 1: Remove All the Strings

First thing’s first, the bumper cannot be replaced while you have got strings in your racket.

Therefore, I recommend that you only replace the bumper when it is time to restring your racket.

Again, this will AVOID UNNECESSARY EXPENDITURES by restringing a racket before your string has busted.

And just like you would do when restringing a racket, you must remove all of the strings prior to taking the bumper out.

If you’ve strung a racket in the past, you will know exactly how easy this is to do.

Simply chop through the mains and the crosses, which can be done with a string clipper, or even a pair of scissors if you don’t have one handy!

And once all of the strings have been chopped, you can then pull them out and discard them.

You don’t even need new strings handy in order to put the new bumper in place, so you can always wait to perform the restring if you want. 

STEP 2: Strip Out the Original Bumper

This is where things can start to get a little tricky.

So if you would prefer a visual aid before attempting to do this for yourself, I’d suggest checking out the video right here:

As you can hopefully see from the video, once the strings have been removed you then need to take out the worn-out bumper.

The way in which to do this is to push from the inside of the frame.

Each of the little black holes on the inside of the frame, known as grommets, is what you need to push through and then snap the bumper out of place.

Assuming the bumper is not glued down or attached to any kind of lead tape, it should snap out of the racket PRETTY EASY.

If not, you may need to use a little device for a bit of assistance.

In my experience, the best device is an ‘Awl’.

This is basically a pin-type device, only much thicker, and you can insert the pin into the grommets to then push them through.

I even use this tool to squeeze the string through a tight grommet when restringing my racket, so it has a double usage here! 

STEP 3: Put the Fresh Bumper in Place

With the original bumper now removed, you can then look to put your new bumper in place.

Before I explain exactly how to do this, I’d like to take a moment to give you some advice on where to buy YOUR NEW BUMPER.

Not only should you purchase from reputable vendors, but I would highly recommend that you stick with bumpers from well-known tennis brands too.

This includes brands like Wilson, Babolat, Head, and others.

WILSON Sporting Goods Plastic Stencil, Red

In fact, I recommend that you purchase a corresponding brand to your racket, as some of the cheaper versions in the market today just will not do the job. 

So with that out of the way, it’s time to start putting the new bumper together.

You will always need to start with one end of the bumper and insert the first grommet through the respective hole.

You should get a little guide with your new bumper, but if not, YouTube can always be a good resource to find ‘how to’ videos for your specific racket model.

Once this first grommet has been pushed through, you can then start to roll the bumper over the top and push each grommet through as you go along.

Again, you can use the Awl tool if you like to make sure that the grommets are pushed all the way through.

And once they are all snapped into place, you have officially replaced the bumper and extended the lifespan of your racket!

Did these tips help you to successfully replace your bumper? Let us know below!

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