Learn how to choose the right tennis rackets, one which compliments your playing style! There are literally hundreds of different tennis rackets available to buy, and it is extremely rare to find two rackets from different manufacturers that play exactly the same. One extra gram of weight, or a one millimetre thicker beam width can have a massive effect on how a tennis racket’s performance!
The tennis rackets weight is the first thing a novice tennis player thinks about when choosing their first tennis racket. “I want the lightest, most powerful tennis racket available!”. Tennis rackets usually weigh from around the 245gram (very lightweight) to around 340grams (very heavy). You must try to choose a weight that you are comfortable with, choosing a racket that is too lightweight or too heavy, can have a negative effect on your game, or worse cause arm injures.
A tennis rackets balance point is simply, the point in which the racket is perfectly balanced. This is measured from the butt of the tennis racket up, and usually ranges from 290mm to 360mm in some cases.
What this provides is information on the tennis rackets balance; tennis rackets with a balance point of above 330mm are considered head heavy, 315 – 330mm are generally balanced tennis rackets, and all tennis rackets with a balance point of 315mm and under are head light.
A lot of it comes down to personal preference, however it’s worth noting that head light tennis rackets are generally more manoeuvrable, and as such easier for volleying and net play. Generally head heavy tennis rackets usually provide more power and are easier to hit top spin with. Balanced tennis rackets obviously provide a little bit of both, but you would usually see big hitting base-liners using balanced frames at the back of the court.
Tennis rackets come in a wide range of different shapes and sizes, with the head size and shape being the most notable difference between tennis rackets. Head sizes are usually defined as:
Why are head sizes so important? Well it’s all to do with the tennis rackets “sweet-spot”. The larger the rackets head size, the larger the sweet-spot; the point in which the most power is transferred to the ball. Generally it is much easy to play with a tennis racket with a larger head size, however tennis players who want more control and feel for the ball will need a racket with a smaller head size.
The head shape is dictated to by the tennis rackets head size, however in some cases they can be more circular, rounded or isometric.
The beam width relates to the width of the beam! Depending on the frames flex, a thinner beam width will provide more control, and a thicker beam width make the tennis racket more powerful!
Obviously a stiffer tennis racket will not bend as much as a more flexible one. A flexible tennis racket will usually lose more energy because the racket will not be able to snap back to it’s original position by the time the ball leaves the strings. If you are constantly hitting the racket’s sweet-spot, the racket should not flex on impact. A racket’s stiffness is more important at the top of the frame, where the tennis racket wants to flex the most. Racket’s that have a stiffer frame on the 3 and 9 o’clock positions will provide more head stability and increase the control and feel provided by the racket.
Modern tennis rackets come available in size different grip sizes. G1 (4), G2 (4 1/4), G3 (4 3/8), G4 (4 1/2), G5 (4 5/8) – there is also a size G0, however this is only used on junior tennis rackets.
When choosing a new tennis racket, selecting the right grip size is incredibly important. Choose a grip size to small and you will end up gripping the tennis racket to tightly and this is the number 1 cause of tennis elbow injuries! Likewise choosing a grip size that is too large will make it harder to hold the racket in your hand properly – and you don’t want the racket to fall out your hand whilst your playing!