Tennis Racquet Reviews
Made to strike balls in the game of tennis, a racquet is a type of sporting equipment that is considered an ancestor of equipment used in modern day sports like squash. Since the invention of tennis racquets, a number of improvements have been made, but overall, racquets have remained practically the same in build and purpose. When choosing a tennis racquet, there are factors that you should consider including your level of expertise, your preferred weight, among many others. There is importance in investing in a good tennis racquet that will suit you since it is a decisive element which will affect each game that you play. When buying a racquet, it is vital to consider the grip size, head size, the weight and materials used, the length, the width of the beam, the tension of the strings, and of course, a price that will match your budget.
Tennis Racquet Buying Guide
While for some choosing the right tennis racquet might not be that difficult a decision to make, there are many things you should consider before purchasing one. There are many different options when thinking about the tennis racquet that is best suited to you such as grip size, head size, string pattern, what the racquet is made from, how you will be using the racquet and how much you’re willing to spend. So before you visit your local sporting good store, here are a list of things that you should consider:
Factor to Consider
The grip size refers to the thickness of the tennis racquet handle. There are generally 4 different sizes for grip:
Size 1 – 4 1/8 inches/grip – this is the smallest size available and it mostly suitable for small children.
Size 2 – 4 1/4 inches/grip – this is generally quite small so it is suitable for children or women with small hands
Size 3 – 4 3/8 inches/grip – this is generally considered a medium and is suitable for both women and men depending on the size of their hands.
Size 4 – 4 ½ inches/grip – this is the largest size available and is suitable for men with larger hands.
The measurement refers to the size of the handle to the line from the middle of your palm to the height of the tip of your ring finger. Taking this measurement will help you in deciding what size will be best suited to you. If you find yourself in the middle of two sizes, it’s recommended to chose the smaller size as you can increase the thickness of the handle by adding over grip tape. When choosing which grip size is most comfortable be sure to take a few swings before purchasing to make sure that you’ve found the right one that’s the most comfortable for you.
The size of your racquet head is important as it will be determined by what sort of playing standard you require and the amount of power needed. There are four different head sizes to choose from:
Midsize – 85 – 95 square inches
Mid Plus – 96 – 105 square inches
Oversize – 106 – 115 square inches
Super Oversize – 116 + inches
Oversize racquets are more suited for beginners as a larger head will provide a larger hitting area and a larger sweet spot (the spot on the racquet that provides the best combination of feel and power). A large head size also allows you to put more spin on the tennis ball which can allow more power to be transferred to the hit.
Midsize racquets are usually used by more experienced tennis players as the smaller head size allows more maneuverability and stability within the racquet itself. However all the power in the shots taken with a midsize racquet will have to be generated from the player themselves.
While string pattern is commonly overlooked by casual or recreational players, the string pattern influences the racquet’s performance. An open string pattern provides the ball greater rebound and will allow potentially for more spin. However having an open string pattern can reduce the string durability as they tend to move more and increase the chance of string breakage. A denser string pattern has less rebound energy but also provides enhanced control and increased string durability resulting in less string breakages.
Racquet Weight and Materials
What your tennis racquet is made out of and subsequently it’s weight are important things to think about when determining which tennis racquet is right for you and your needs.
Graphite – The majority of modern tennis racquets are made from graphite which is lightweight but strong at the same time. Racquets made from graphite are great for all levels of experience as it transmits shock when hit lessening the vibration through the arms and shoulders.
Boron and Kevlar – These resemble graphite but they are even stiffer and lighter than those made from graphite. Thinking about how Kevlar is used to make bulletproof vests you can be assured that these racquets are strong! However even though racquets made from these materials are lightweight, if you don’t use the sweet spot to hit the ball, there can be quite a bit of vibration through the arm and is not appropriate for beginners.
Aluminum – While this was more commonly used in older tennis racquets you will still find it used in modern racquets. It’s cost effective and while they may not be as good a quality as other materials, it still offers a decent amount of power.
There are three basic types of tennis racquets and which type suits you best will depend on your level of experience and your goals.
Control – People who are best suited to a control racquet are players with fast and long swings that are looking for added control. Control racquets are best suited to more advanced players.
Tweener – A tweener racquet is best suited to intermediate to advanced tennis players who want to combine control and power. A tweener racquet is most appropriate when beginners are looking to switch to a more advanced challenge.
Power – This is best type of racquet for beginners as it is best suited to players with short swings who are looking for easy power and added depth.
When choosing to purchase anything, price is always a consideration. If you are thinking of taking up playing tennis seriously, than price should be no object. However if you’re thinking of playing casually with some friends just for fun, spending a lot of money on a tennis racquet is probably not a good idea, you could even buy a second hand one.
In the end, what type of tennis racquet you buy and what types of features it has all depends on you. Thinking about what suits you best and how you’ll be using the racquet before you walk into a store guarantees that you will walk out with exactly what you want.