How to Choose Tennis Racket: The Ultimate Guide
There are more tennis racquets than ever before. This is great because it means you have many different choices to choose from. But it can also be difficult to decide which one is right for you.
When buying a racquet, you must consider what is important to you. Do you want more power, more control, or something in between? Finding the right racquet for your playing style takes some time and thought, but we’ve put together a guide to simplify the process.
If you are an intermediate player trying to step up your game, then you need to use this guide to choose the right tennis racquet. This will help you play better. This article will show novices how to select the optimal racquet for optimal performance.
Tennis Racquet Parts
The head of the racquet is the portion that is surrounded by the strings and frame. Typically, racquet head dimensions range from 95 to 110 square inches. This measurement influences the force and control of your swings. A larger head provides more strength at the expense of control. Similarly, a smaller racquet provides greater control at the expense of power.
The throat is located between the bottom of a racquet’s head and the top of its handle.
The shaft is the portion of a tennis racquet below the head. It has a handle that reaches the buttocks.
The handle is the portion of the racquet that is gripped during play. It is typically between 4 and 4 34 inches in circumference.
The grip is the covering that goes over the handle of your racquet. You can install a new grip or an overgrip to change the feel of the handle, improve its traction, or drastically enlarge it.
The butt is located near the base of the handle and is wider than the remainder. This is so you can grip it tightly, and it won’t slip out of your hand. The butt cap is at the bottom of the butt and can be opened to add weight to your racquet. This changes how your racquet feels when you hit balls with it.
Other Parts of Your Racquet
You may encounter these terms while researching racquets.
- Beam: Refers to the thickness of the head of your racquet.
- Bumper Guard: A guard around the edge of the head of your racquet to protect it.
- Grommets: Pieces of plastic found around the frame’s perimeter and through its holes to shield the strings.
Choose a Racquet by Skill Level
The more advanced your tennis career becomes, the more important it is to choose the perfect racquet.
When you’re starting to learn how to play tennis, you will make more progress by regularly practicing than by buying expensive gear.
There’s no replacement for hard work, but using the right racquet can help you play your best.
If you are a beginner, it is more important that your racquet is comfortable and not too heavy, rather than the exact frame specs.
It’s tempting to start with an expensive racquet with many features. But this can be bad for your game because you might choose a racquet you can’t use well.
One of the first things you should do when using a new racquet is to check the grip size. Using the right grip size lowers your risk of developing arm or hand issues. You’ll also have a more solid grip this way. If you don’t know how to figure out what size to use, don’t worry. We will describe how to accomplish this later in this article.
People just starting out playing tennis usually do best with racquets with a head size larger than 100 square inches. This provides you with a larger target to strike the ball with and increases the likelihood that you will hit it in the intended location.
Using a bigger head can mean that you lose some control. But if you are a beginner, it is a tradeoff that will help you improve your game.
Weight is another important thing to think about when choosing a racquet. Racquets come in different weights, and if you are a beginner, it is a good idea to start with a racquet that weighs less than 11 ounces (312 grams). Most racquets weigh 8 ounces (227 grams) or less. If you are smaller, you might want to choose a racquet that weighs on the lower end of this range. A light racquet is easier to move around and can help prevent injuries from using a heavier racquet.
Here are a few other racquet attributes that beginners do well with:
- Oversized head
- Extended length
- Stiffer frame
- Lightweight construction
As you improve, you will have more control over your shots. You will also be able to produce more power. If you are at the intermediate level, you might want to try using smaller head sizes and heavier racquets.
You might want to use a racquet in the 98 to 100 square inch range if you have a larger head size. This will give you more control as an intermediate player.
Intermediate-level racquets usually have medium-sized heads. They are also easier to maneuver, but they sacrifice some power. If you have been playing, you can produce more power, so this won’t be as much of a problem.
If you feel strong enough, you can try using a heavier racquet. A heavier racquet will give you more stability when hitting the ball. You may also want to try different things with your racquet, like the swing weight, how flexible the frame is, and the pattern of the strings. We’ll talk more about each of these later in this guide.
If you’ve been playing tennis competitively for a long time, you know what kind of player you are. More advanced players have more strength, stamina, and control than lower-level players. If you are at this level, you can use heavier racquets and smaller head sizes.
However, using a smaller, heavier racquet may not be your best choice. Ultimately, the racquet that feels the best to you is the one you should be playing with.
If you are at this level, you can improve your game by playing in a way that matches your racquet and tweaking the specs to maximize your performance.
Almost all advanced players use a control racquet or a modern player’s racquet. You might want to use a control racquet if you have the technique to generate power. If not, you can choose from different types of racquets.
Types of Tennis Racquets
There are a lot of different racquets on the market. To help players choose the right one, we can put them into a few different categories
Pre-strung and Inexpensive Racquets
If you’re unsure if you want to love tennis or are on a budget, you can start with a cheap tennis racquet.
If you are a beginner player, buying expensive equipment won’t significantly affect your performance. The amount of practice you do and your technique will make the biggest difference.
Racquets that are cheaper tend to come pre-strung. This means that you can use them right away. Most of the big names in tennis racquets sell racquets for less than $80.
Suppose you are a more experienced player or have extra money to spend. In that case, you can buy a more powerful control racquet designed for players. A tweener racquet that is good for both beginners and experienced players, a modern player’s racquet.
The heads of power racquets, like the Wilson Hyper Hammer 5.3 shown above, are bigger than those of the other two types. They usually weigh less than 9.5 ounces and are stiffer so that they can reflect more energy to the ball when you hit it. Power racquets also have their balance closer to the head, which gives them a higher swing weight.
If you have a slow, compact swing, you might want to use a power racquet. This type of racquet is designed for smaller players and people who are not as strong as other players.
To summarize, power racquets have the following characteristics:
- Oversized head
- Extended length
- Stiffer frame
- Lighter construction
They are an excellent choice for players who:
- Learning how to play
- Smaller in height
- Looking for power
Most of the time, advanced players should use racquets that trade power for control. This is because they need a high level of accuracy to hit the sweet spot consistently. The Head Graphene 360+ Prestige Mid can be seen in the picture above.
They are heavier than power racquets to make them more stable, and their frames are more flexible to reduce power and make it easier to hit the ball where you want it.
Most control rackets have the following features:
- Smaller heads
- Standard length
- Flexible frames
- Heavier construction
Control racquets are the best choice for players who:
- Experienced players
- Taller in height
- Looking for control
Tweener racquets are designed for players who want a mix of power and control. They usually have a head size in the middle and other specs like stiffness, length, and weight. The Babolat Pure Drive Team is a good example of this type of racquet.
They are usually light or moderately heavy (9.6 to 11.5 ounces) and have a relatively balanced feel. The head size is usually between 632.3 and 671.0 square centimeters (98 to 104 square inches). They’re a good choice for people who:
- Are you looking to upgrade from a beginner’s racquet?
- Seek a balance of power and control
Modern Player’s Racquets
The modern game of tennis has led to the development of a new type of racquet. This type of racquet is designed for players who hit the ball with a lot of power and use heavy topspin.
Modern players’ racquets are heavier and have a larger head size. They also have a stiffer frame that gives more power and topspin. The Head Graphene 360+ Gravity MP racquet is an example of this type of racquet.
How to Choose a Grip Size
Tennis racquet grip sizes can range from 4 inches to about 4 ¾ inches. The size of your hands can help you determine the ideal grip for a comfortable fit and prevent injury.
You don’t want your grip on the tennis racket to be too small, or you won’t have a good hold on it. That can lead to you getting injured from gripping it too tightly. But if your grip is too large, it will put extra stress on your arm muscles and won’t be comfortable.
There are different ways to measure your grip size. One way is to use a ruler or measuring tape to measure the length of your hand.
- Look for the crease that runs through the middle of the top of your hand.
- Align the edge of your ring finger with the tape measure or ruler.
- Measure from the top of your ring finger to the fold in your palm. The measurement should be between 4 and 4 and a half inches.
You may want to try a racquet that is one size bigger or smaller than the size you measure. When buying a racquet, it is easier to make the grip bigger than smaller. If you need to increase the grip size of your racquet, you can add an overgrip.
Remember that the grip on the club should feel good. We can help you find a grip size close to what you need, but it is ultimately up to you to find what feels best.
Racquet Head Sizes & Length
When choosing a racquet, you must consider how long and big the head is. Adult tennis racquets range in length from about 27 to 29 inches, but 29 inches is the most extended length that can be used in a tournament.
Longer racquets give you more power because they provide more leverage to hit the ball. A shorter racquet gives you more control, but at the cost of power.
The length of a racquet best for you depends on your physical stature and playing style. If you can’t make enough power, a longer frame will help compensate for it.
Racquet head sizes range from:
- 85-97 in² for mid-sized racquets
- 98-104 in² for mid-plus racquets
- 105+ in² for oversized racquets
When starting out, choosing a racquet over 100 inches makes it easier to hit the sweet spot consistently.
But as you improve, you’ll be able to make more of your shots. You might want to try different head sizes to see if the extra control helps your game.
Racquet Weight, Balance, and Stiffness
When looking for a racquet, you should think about its weight, balance, and how stiff it is. This will help you decide which one is best for you.
As you become a better player, you may want to try using a heavier racquet. Most racquets for sale weigh between 8 and 13 ounces (227 and 369 grams).
Lighter racquets are easier to move around but are not as stable when you hit the ball. Heavier racquets give you more control and less vibration or shock, but they add strain to your arm and wrist and lead to quicker fatigue.
The center of mass for your racquet is the point in the middle where you would be able to balance it on your finger without it falling.
Racquets with their center of mass shifted toward the handle are called headlights. These racquets are heavier and help absorb shock. They are also easier to move around because the weight is in your hand.
Head-heavy racquets have moved their center of mass toward the head. These racquets are lighter, which makes them more maneuverable and increases power while still being stable.
Balanced racquets help you to hit the ball evenly. You can adjust the balance of your racquet by adding lead tape to different parts of the frame. For example, some players like to put lead tape at 10 and 2 o’clock on their racquets to make them more stable and less likely to twist when they hit.
Tennis Racquet Stiffness
Tennis racquet stiffness can change the way your racquet feels and how it plays.
A racquet with more stiffness is like a tile floor. It doesn’t give as much energy back to the ball, so the ball doesn’t go as far. A more flexible racquet gives you better control because it absorbs more energy from the ball.
Popular Racquet Brands
Tennis racquets come in more than 15 different brands. Here are some of the most well-known brands.
The French company Babolat has been around since 1975. Along with Wilson and Head, it is one of the three most well-known racquet companies. Racquets made by Babolat cost anywhere from $30 to more than $200.
In the early 1900s, Wilson racquets were made in the United States. Wilson racquets have been used by some of the best players in the world, like Roger Federer and his now-famous black RF97. Racquets cost anywhere from $30 to as much as $300.
Head is newer to the game than Wilson and Babolat. It was created in America in 1950. Head racquets are among the most popular on the market and are a popular choice among professionals. The cheapest Head racquets start at around $80, while the most expensive ones are around $230.
Yonex is a Japanese brand of popular tennis racquets. They have racquets at different prices, with the cheaper ones being around $80 and the more expensive ones being around $240.
Racquets made by Technifibre are more expensive than other racquets. This is because they do not have cheap aluminum frames. The most expensive racquets by Technifibre are a little over $200.
Men’s vs. Women’s Racquets
You can find tennis racquets for both men and women on the market. However, some racquets are made specifically for women. The Tecnifibre T-Rebound TEMPO is a good example of a premium racquet made specifically for women.
On the WTA tour, most women use racquets slightly lighter than men on the ATP tour. However, there are a few exceptions. For example, Serena Williams uses Wilson racquets that weigh around 11.4 ounces (323 grams).
Another player known for being powerful on the court is Maria Sharapova. She uses a Head racquet that weighs 318 grams. Keep in mind that she is taller than most people and very strong.
If you are a beginner, you will do well with a lighter racquet than the ones these two professionals use.
Most women have smaller hands than men, so they need a grip size between 4 ⅛ inches and 4 ½ inches to be comfortable.
Tennis Racquet Price Ranges
To play tennis, you don’t have to spend much money. The price of a racquet varies depending on the material and brand, but affordable options are available for everyone.
On the low end, pre-strung racquets cost around $20. Of course, the more intricate the racquet is, the more expensive it is. You may spend close to $1000 on a top-of-the-line, fully customized racquet.
Usually, the more you pay for a racquet, the better the quality. However, other factors determine how much a racquet costs. These include new technologies and their endorsements.
A good beginner racquet can be bought for under $100. Intermediate and advanced racquets can cost up to $250. If you want your racquet customized, that will add to the cost.
How to Choose a Kids Tennis Racquet
Choosing the right size tennis racquet for your child can be tricky. Because children develop and grow at various rates, the racquet size they should use changes as they do.
To find the best racquet for a child, read our guide. The most important part is that children should start with a smaller racquet and gradually increase the size as they grow.
Here is a rough guideline on what racquet length to choose. But remember children who do not grow at the same rate as other children might need a different size.
Age Height Racquet
4 or younger 40 in or less 19 in
4-5 years 40-44 in 21 in
6-8 years 45-49 in 23 in
9-10 years 50-55 in 25 in
10 or older 55+ in 26 in
Age Height Racquet
4 or younger 102 cm or less 48.3 cm
4-5 years 102-113 cm 53.3 cm
6-8 years 114-126 cm 58.4 cm
9-10 years 127-140 cm 63.5 cm
10 or older 140+ cm 66.0 cm
You can turn the racquet upside down and put it on the ground to see if your child is using the right size. It should have the handle facing up. Your child must be able to rest their hand on the buttcap without having to bend their arm or angle their body in any way.
Most kids’ racquets come with a grip size of 4 inches. If the grip feels too small and the racquet twists in their hand when they hit, they can add an overgrip to make it bigger.
Racquet Demo Programs
Trying out different racquets when looking for a new racquet is a good idea. You can do this by going to local stores or clubs and trying out the new models.
Some top online retailers also offer demo programs where you can test a racquet for up to a week. You’ll often receive a discount if you choose to buy it.
Selecting Tennis Strings
Hopefully, by now, you know how different types of racquets can change your game.
If you got a new racquet, you might need new strings. You can find strings that match your racquet.
When choosing the right strings for your guitar, there is much to consider. We will cover the basics here.
Types of Strings
There are two kinds of strings: natural gut strings and synthetic strings. As someone new to playing the violin, you might be unable to tell the difference immediately. But a more experienced player will be more sensitive to the different nuances of each type of string.
Natural gut strings come from the intestine of cows. They are known for being comfortable and powerful. The main tradeoff is that they are more expensive than synthetic strings.
Nylon is the most common type of synthetic string, but you can also find polyester and Kevlar strings. Natural gut strings are more expensive and don’t come in as many styles as synthetic strings.
String gauge is how thick the strings on your instrument are. The scale ranges from 13 to 22, with 22 being the thinnest and 19 being the thickest.
Strings are generally 16, 16L, or 17 gauge. Thicker strings are stronger and last longer. Thinner strings allow you to generate more spin. For optimum durability, beginners should use thicker strings; however, experts can profit from the spin potential of thinner strings.
As a new player, don’t think thinner strings will make you hit the ball as Nadal does. You will still need good technique and swing fast to generate topspin. Thinner strings can help with this, but they are not necessary.
The last thing you need to consider when choosing strings for your racquet is how tight they are.
When the string tension is low, you get more power, but when it’s high, you get better control. Tensions are usually between 40 and 65 pounds. Many racquets and strings have a recommended tension range, with the lowest and highest limits listed.
If you’re unsure what tension to use for your racquet, start in the middle of what is recommended. Then, adjust up or down based on whether you want more power or control. As you get better at tennis, you’ll be able to feel the difference in tension and adjust even more.
There are many different types of tennis racquets. They each have their own benefits and drawbacks. Everyone has different physical abilities and, over time, develops a unique playing style. This means that the best tennis racquet for you might not be the best for someone else.
Most players should start their careers with a light racquet that has a large head. As they improve, they should transition to smaller and heavier racquets. After playing for a few years, they will better understand what type of racquet will help them play their best tennis.
There are no hard and fast rules when choosing a racquet. You should choose a comfortable racquet that makes you feel confident in your game. One way to figure out what type of racquet will work best for you is to try out different racquets before deciding.
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Frequently Asked Questions About How to Choose Tennis Racket
The best way to find the grip size of a tennis racket is to measure the length between the tip of your ring finger and the second line on your palm. This picture will help you do that. The length in millimeters (mm) will tell you how big the handle of your tennis racket is.
A good racket for beginners should be lighter in weight. This will make it easier for you to swing and play with. Heavier rackets can be a little harder to move about, as the muscles you use for tennis are still developing.
The standard racket length for adults is 27 inches. This is the perfect size for your average player. If you want to improve your serve and groundstrokes, you might consider using a racket that is 29 inches or longer. This will give you more leverage and reach.
A good racket is perfect for that person. More skilled players tend to play with smaller, heavier rackets. These players have perfected their technique and can use the heavier weight and smaller head size to play more precise, accurate shots.
A heavier racquet is more powerful and stable than a lighter one. It also transmits less shock to your hand, arm, and shoulder. This is because the extra weight of the racquet helps it win the battle against the ball when they collide.