The tennis racquet is often considered as an extension of the player’s arm. Therefore, choosing the right racquet is very important. It’s not something you just walk in off the street and buy. Your racquet should be appropriate to your age and level of expertise. It should meet your quality requirements and make playing on the court comfortable for you. What should you pay attention to when choosing a tennis racquet?
What should a tennis racquet be made of?
Tennis racquets were originally made of wood and then of metal (mainly aluminum) alloys. Currently, racquets made of lightweight materials, in particular graphite, are the most commonly used. The racquet you choose depends on the amount you want to spend on it. Sports equipment stores offer budget aluminum racquets, a bit more expensive composite racquets (made of a mixture of aluminum and graphite) and premium racquets made of graphite (or in some cases with small addition of other materials, including titanium or Kevlar). Graphite racquets are especially recommended. They make up the majority of the products sold on the market.
What should be the length of your racquet?
A well-chosen racquet can significantly improve your game and protect you from injury. If you are wondering what parameters to consider when choosing a tennis racquet, be sure to pay attention to its length. The length of the racquet is defined as the distance from the base of the handle to the end of the head. An adult of average height (5 feet 8 inches or approx. 173 cm) uses a racquet that is 27 inches long (approx. 69 cm). The smaller racquets are designed for children or people who are slightly shorter.
However, you should remember that, in terms of length, the racquet should be tailored to your individual preferences and needs. The fact that a racquet of a certain length is most often used by most adults does not mean that it will be suitable for absolutely everyone. It’s a good idea to try out the racquet in a physical store or, if possible, play a few sets with a racquet borrowed from a friend.
The head size and shape
Tennis racquets come in a variety of shapes and sizes. While the shape of the head is usually in the form of a large oval and it does not matter whether you choose a classic or slightly modified shape, the size of the head plays an important role.
Racquets for beginners and advanced players come in different sizes. A beginner should choose a medium-sized head, measuring about 102 square inches (approx. 685 square cm). If you already have some experience in the game, you can choose a slightly larger or slightly smaller head. The most advanced players usually choose racquets with the smallest surface: 93 to 96 square inches (600 to 635 square cm) or even smaller. The small head of the racquet provides a good balance between power and control.
It would seem that beginners should use racquets with small heads. But nothing of the sort. The larger the surface of the head, the less effort you need to put in a hard hit. That’s why beginner players use racquets with relatively large heads that don’t require perfect physical condition from them.
Does balance point matter? Absolutely. If you want to hit the ball hard so that it lands perfectly in a specific point on the opposite side of the court, the balance of the racquet is of particular importance in this respect. There are three types of racquet balance:
Each of them gives a slightly different feeling during the game and requires a proper posture and a specific position on the court. Head-light racquets are relatively light and easy to handle. They are more suitable for the net players. Head-heavy racquets give you more power with less effort. They are recommended for beginner players who are not yet in good shape. Even-balanced racquets are often chosen by advanced players. They require a lot of effort, but at the same time provide a powerful hit and great control.
How much should the racquet weigh?
For the weight of a tennis racquet, it is worth following the below tips. Beginners should rather choose lighter racquets that are easier to swing. Heavier racquets are the most common choice of professionals. They require a lot of force but provide better accuracy and swing dynamics. Some advanced players even add weight to their racquets to gain better control. There are racquets designed for male and female beginners, but each player should choose a racquet based on individual needs and preferences depending on their physical shape and condition.