How to choose a tennis racket?

  • 20 Sep 2021 08:22
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How to choose a tennis racket?

With hundreds of rackets to select from, it might be challenging to decide which one to buy. Fortunately, we're here to assist in simplifying the process of choosing the ideal racket by highlighting the most crucial features to look for.

There are three critical components of a racket's specification that can considerably distinguish them from one another. These are the racket's weight, head size, and balance. The 'best weight,' 'best head size,' and 'best balance' will change each individual. However, you can use the information below and take into account your physique and skill level. A choice on the specification you will feel comfortable getting the most performance out of may be made.

When comparing rackets, always examine their unstrung characteristics, as strung specs might misrepresent the real difference between rackets. As a result, any specs stated in this article will pertain to unstrung specifications.

Factors to consider

Head size

Power is proportional to head size; a giant head will produce more power than a smaller head, all else being equal. A more oversized chair also provides a larger striking area and sweet spot, resulting in greater forgiveness on off-center shots. Racquets are available in head sizes ranging from 93 to 135 square inches, with 97-100 being the most popular. 

For many players, racquets of 100 square inches or more minor provide a good balance of power and control. In general, a smaller racquet head caters to more experienced players looking for greater control. In contrast, more oversized racquet heads appeal to beginner and intermediate players looking for more power and a more prominent sweet spot.

Length

An adult tennis racquet's average length is 27 inches; however, racquets are available in lengths ranging from 26.5 to 29 inches (29 inches is the legal maximum for tournament play). All else being equal, a longer racquet gives more reach on groundstrokes, more leverage on serves, and somewhat more power overall than an average length racquet.

Longer racquets have an enormous swing weight, which implies a little more effort is necessary to move the racquet. Many power racquets are lower in weight to allow for more maneuverability even at extended lengths.

Weight

A heavier racquet is more robust, more stable, and transfers less shock than a lighter racquet (all other things being equal). When the stringbed collides with the ball, the added weight of a heavier racquet helps it win the struggle. As a result, the racquet feels stable and as though it's plowing through the ball. Our product descriptions and evaluations frequently describe racquets with these beneficial characteristics as having excellent plow-through. Heavy racquets provide good depth and pace from the baseline for players with long, rapid strokes. The improved steadiness at net and service returns is a good bonus.

On the other hand, a lighter racquet is more maneuverable, allowing a player to position the racquet efficiently and produce many spins (thanks to the more accessible access to a faster swing). Players may whip the ball with a spin on the court to create better angles, get lobs and passing shots to drop inside the lines swiftly, and effortlessly manipulate the racquet during quick net exchanges. Remember that if a racquet is too light, you can always add weight to it. However, reducing racquet weight is nearly difficult.

Balance

A racquet can be one of three things: headlight, head heavy, or even balanced when it comes to balancing. The majority of the mass of a head-light racquet is concentrated towards the handle end of the racquet. Even though they are the heaviest type of racquet, most traditional player's racquets have a light head to help them feel nimble. Lightweight power racquets are often head heavy. 

Despite the racquet's modest overall weight, considerable stability is maintained due to a large mass situated near the racquet’s head. The medium-weight racquets are then left, which have an equal balance or are near to it. When the pack is distributed uniformly across the racquet, a ratio of stability and mobility may be reached without the racquet being excessively heavy or too light.

Which balance is best for a tennis racket?

The weight distribution of a tennis racket determines whether it is balanced more towards the head or the handle.

Millimeters are commonly used to describe balance points. This length (measured from the racket's bottom) reflects how the racket can be balanced without tipping; either way, the greater the value, the heavier the racket is towards the head. An average length (27 inches / 686 mm) evenly balanced racket would have a balance point of around 343 mm.

While most rackets' balancing points are less than 343 mm (and hence head-light), it's still essential knowing and comparing how head-light they are. A racket with a 315 mm balance point, for example, will be more head-light than one with a 325 mm balance point, so even if all other parameters are the same, they will feel and play differently.

The weight is closer to the hand on lighter rackets, which enhances maneuverability on groundstrokes and volleys and keeps the player in control in general. It is, however, more challenging to create head speed on swings, so choosing a racket with a very light head may leave you battling for power. Only skilled players should choose balances that are 315mm or less.

The weight in the head of a heavy head racket creates momentum on swings, which leads to enhanced power. It does, however, become more challenging to direct bullets accurately. Balances of 340 mm or above are recommended for social players seeking effortless power from their racket.

Rackets between 315 and 340 mm will be suitable for most other competitive players, including beginners and intermediates, based on the variables described above, as well as personal taste. If you need more power, move closer to the 340 mm mark, and if you want more control, move closer to the 315 mm mark.

Conclusion

So you've determined the weight, head size, and balance you require, you can utilize the filters on any of our tennis racket product pages to narrow down your options. As rackets are made with assumptions in mind, the number of options you will be left with will depend on the combination of specifications you require. For example, if someone needs a heavy racket, it is also likely that they will need a smaller head size, or if someone needs a very light racket, it is also expected that they will need an even or heavy head balance.


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Hannah Wood By, Hannah Wood
Hannah Wood is a holder of M.M in Performance from Ithaca College and Bachelor’s degree in Music from American University. During the course of her career, he has had the opportunity to be associated with multiple orchestras in various permanent and freelancing roles. Working as a Sub, Regular or at the Violin Section, he has honed her performance, technical and conducting skills and gained competency in combining her musical skills with peers. He is a winner of the American University Concerto Championship and has been recognized as a Concertmaster from the American University Symphony Orchestra. He loves music and taught herself musical instruments such as trumpet, drums, violin. He has a lot of experience in choosing good and affordable musical instruments.
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