The first step to becoming a tennis player is choosing the right tennis racquet for your skill level and experience. It saves you from having tennis elbow, and it allows you to play at your best in the game.
Need help choosing a racquet? Here’s how to choose a tennis racket.
The Importance of Choosing the Right Tennis Racquet
The right tennis racquet allows you to hit the ball over the net and into the court of your opponent, even if you’re a beginner. It’s all about choosing the right equipment for performance.
They are much more comfortable to swing, and the more you play will help you become better quicker.
For example, beginners often choose a tennis racket that’s appealing to the eyes. Beginners need to go for oversized rackets to give them a larger hitting area, that gives a lot of forgiveness for off-center hits, and power. These rackets serve as a guide and will benefit them more.
Conversely, pro tennis players need to use a tennis racket that gives them plenty of control. Selecting the right racquet is one of the defining points of winning or losing a game.
As a Beginner
Players who have no prior experience in tennis need to have a lighter racket type with larger head sizes. These are often referred to as oversize racquet.
It helps make contact with the ball more consistently, allowing their muscles to adapt to the game gradually.
If you’re starting out, remember to look for a tennis racquet that has a light tennis racket frame. It delivers more power potential with a large headsize.
As an Intermediate Player - Picking the Correct Racquet
As you gradually become better, you’re better off with a racket with a smaller head size, and their frames become heavier. At this point, your muscles are already accustomed to the movement, and they can product pace on their own, giving you a benefit.
It keeps the new-found power of intermediate tennis players and control while maximizing their gameplay.
If you’re an intermediate level athlete, here are a few characteristics of a racquet you need to look out for:
- Oversize to mid-plus head size
- Medium racquet weight frames
- Lesser power, more control
As an Advanced Player
Lastly, an advanced level tennis player should be using the category of mid-size tennis rackets. It gives them control, a nice feel, and precision throughout the match. These
When you’re playing, it makes you become more connected to the ball, so you can play with confidence in every shot they make.
If you’re an advanced athlete, here are a few characteristics of a tennis racquet to keep in mind:
- Mid-plus head sizes
- The frame is between medium to heavy racquets
- Racket delivers control and feel
Important Things to Consider Before Buying a Tennis Racquet
Midsize racquets are generally around 85 square inches to 97 square inches of tennis racket head size. These have smaller heads as they are designed for more advanced players.
A smaller head is used in tournament play. They are easy to maneuver, allowing advanced players to react faster on court.
What’s more, a midsize racket gives you the lowest power and smallest head as experienced athletes know how to generate their power. However, in return, it gives you the best control among the three.
Mid-plus racquets are also known as tweener racquets, are the type that delivers a good balance between power and control. It usually has a head size of anywhere between 89 inches to 104 inches.
The power level and control are all equal. It also gives you a nice feel. These racquets are ideal for intermediate players who are on their way to becoming pros.
Oversized racquets or power racquets are designed for beginners. These racquets usually have a head size number of 105 inches, which is a larger head.
The racket head focuses more on giving you power than control with a larger sweet spot as it has a larger head size. It’s one of the things beginners have to keep in mind.
This racket ensures that the ball gets over the net, high power, and low control. These are three factors that make these types a racket for beginners.
The heavier the racquet, the more power it is. What’s more, weight racquets give the athlete more stability and deliver less shock than a lighter racquet. These weigh over 11 ounces.
The tennis racket’s added weight allows you to win the match at contact as soon as the string beds are connected to the ball. As a result, it delivers a nice plow through.
Tweener racquets are medium in weight. They are generally between 9.5 – 11 ounces with good balance.
It borrows the lightness to some degree of an oversize racket and combines it with some control from a heavy-weight racket, which gives you the best of both worlds. These racquets usually are head heavy and deliver a nice feel.
A lightweight racket weighs 9.0 to 9.7 ounces, but some brands even go lower than that. These racquets have good maneuverability, allowing the athlete to position the tennis racket easier and produce a lot of spin as it’s faster to swing.
It generates better angles to get lobs and passing shots. A lightweight racket gives you quick exchanges at the net.
A tennis racket can be one of these three: head-light rackets, head heavy, or evenly balanced. The head-light racquet has more of its weight towards the handle end of the racket. Most traditional players are head-light, so it remains maneuverable despite being heavy.
Conversely, a lightweight power racket is head heavy. The mass is saturated towards the head of the racket, so it’s more stable to use.
And finally, evenly balanced racquets give you a combination of stability and maneuverability on the court.
A tennis racket has a corresponding score (RA) for stiffness.
- Flexible frame – 63 and below
- Mid Stiffness – 64 to 67
- Stiff frame – 68 and above
A stiffer racket bends the least, meaning it depletes less energy from the tennis ball. Meanwhile, a flexible racquet bends more.
One of the elements is the swing weight. It gives you a measurement of how a heavy racket feels when you swing it. A higher weight racket means it is harder to swing but gives you more power and control. It also offers comfort and stability at ball impact.
A lower swing weight generally has a higher swing speed but gives you less stability and comfort.
Choose the swing weight amount depending on your swing style.
- Low swingweight – 305 and below
- Mid swingweight – 310 – 325
- High swingweight – 325 above
Open string pattern deflects more in ball impact, which gives the ball greater rebound and a higher launch angle. The feel is livelier, and players have easy access to depth and pace.
On the other hand, a closed string pattern does not deflect, giving you less rebound energy. Players often find that a closed spring pattern gives you more control. It does not give you a lot of spin, but it allows you to swing faster.
You have to take time to which of the two strings fits you the most as these strings (for a better spin or for power) play a significant impact on your gameplay.
You need to identify your playing style, whether you are an aggressive player who hits from the baseline (1) or a defensive player. You’re either one or the other, and knowing which is it, affects the right racket for you.
An aggressive player swings the racket harder, meaning a more powerful racquet suits you best. On the other hand, a defensive player uses the pace of the tennis ball. A narrower tennis racket is a more suitable option.
The grip size of a tennis racket is measured through 0 – 5. In the U.S., it’s 4 – 5/8. Women tennis players prefer using a 4 ¼ tennis racket. Meanwhile, men tennis players prefer using a 4 ⅜ grip size.
However, players are now using smaller racket grip sizes as it produces more spin. If you are not sure of what to get, then it’s best to choose a racket with a smaller handle as it’s easier to increase grip size than decrease it.
Look for a grip size that has a gap about the same as your index finger’s width. The closer your index finger’s width is to the gap between your index and your palm, the more comfortable it is. You’ll also need to regrip your racquet from time to time.
The standard size of a tennis racquet is 27 inches in length. The vast majority of rackets in that length are between 97 to 105 inches. While the range may differ in length, 29 inches is the maximum tennis racquet length for tournament plays.
You need to have 2 tennis rackets, assuming you play three or more times a week, and you produce a lot of spins in your shots.
Owning two rackets ensures that you will have a back-up when you break strings while your primary racket is being strung.
Selecting the Right Tennis Racquet - It's A Wrap!
Selecting the right tennis racquet in your gameplay is the key to winning a match, so it’s a long process to start.
An appropriate racquet head size brings you a lot of advantages, and it makes it safer for you to use as well. Checking the specifications is important before making a decision.
Quality plays a big role, you have to ensure that the strings are durable, so the strings do not break easily. It’s the same for its frame.
A tennis racket might just be one piece of your tennis equipment, but it’s where every beginner starts to optimize performance.
For intermediate players and advanced players, it’s best to use and experiment with different rackets in the market. Follow these tips to find one that fits your playing style the most.