Choosing the correct tennis racket to suit and would be best for you depends on a few criteria; age, height, power and grip.
The number of types of rackets that is available on the market is daunting, there are different technologies and materials such as nCode, Hot Melt, Liquidmetal and F.I.R.E to name a few.
There are three major categories of racket which are highlighted below.
Power And Game Improvement Rackets
This is the term used by racket manufacturers for power-orientated rackets. Most of these models feature oversize to super-oversize heads (107-135 square inches), they are lightweight (8-9.5 ounces), longer (27-29 inches), stiffer and are balanced head-heavy (or evenly balanced) to retain enough weight in the hitting zone.
These rackets are designed for players with shorter, slower swings and who want the racket to produce some of the power.
There are a wide variety and several model that offer a blend of features from game improvement and player’s rackets.
They are often lighter (9.5-11 ounces), balanced anywhere from slightly head-light to slightly head-heavy, have a midplus (95-102 square inches) heads and are usually extended length (27.5-28 inches).
These racket models offer low-medium to medium-high power and are most appealing to intermediate-advanced players, seeking advanced maneuverability.
Control Or Players Rackets
This type of racket is prefered by professional and top tournament club players. These types of rackets are typically heavier in weight (11.5-13 ounces), have smaller heads (85-98), thinner, more flexible beams and are balanced head-light to retain control and maneuverability.
The result is a low-power racket, designed for players who generate their own power and prefer a racket that offers more control. They can be of standard or extended length.
- Head Size
Power is directly related to head size, a larger head will provide more power than a smaller one. It also offers a larger hitting area and sweetspot.
Rackets are made in lengths ranging from 27-29 inches which are the legal limits for tournament play. A longer racket provides more reach on groundstrokes, added leverage on serves and slightly more power.
- Weight & Balance
The two most important factors that most influence how a racket feels when you pick it up and when you swing on a court.
A heavy racket is more powerful, more stable and transmits less shock. A lighter racket is more maneuverable and thus a player can swing faster.
- Frame Stiffness
The amount a frame deflects during ball contact directly affects it’s power. A stiffer racket bends less, thus depleting less energy from the ball. A flexible racket bends more, resulting in more energy loss.
- String Pattern,/li>The density of the string pattern on a racket influences many aspects of a racket’s overall performance.
In general an open string pattern will deflect more than a closed one, this will provide greater ball rebound.
Strung at the same tension an open string pattern won’t feel as tight as a dense or closed string pattern.
All these considerations are there for you to choose from when you are selecting your next racket, choose wisely as the wrong choice could have a detrimental effect on your game.
What do you look for in a tennis racket?