Choosing A Tennis Racquet:
Unless you're a seasoned professional, choosing the right tennis racquet to maximize your game can be quite intimidating. This guide will help you discover what you should be looking for in a racquet that will perfectly complement your particular style. For a more precise evaluation we recommend you call or come in store to discuss it with our knowledgeable staff.
You can get an idea of how a racquet will perform based on the following attributes, which appear on all of our racquet product pages under "racquet specifications".
|Thicker Beam Width||+||+||+|
|Thinner Beam Width||+||+||+|
|Standard 27" Length||+||+|
|Open String Pattern||+||+||+|
|Closed String Pattern||+|
|Head Heavy Balance||+||+||+|
|Head Light Balance||+||+|
The headsize of a racquet is a measurement of the area of the stringbed in square inches. Racquets come in headsizes ranging from 85-135 sq. inches, and are are classified into four sizes: Midsize (85-92 sq. in.), Midplus (93-105 sq. in.), Oversize or OS for short (106-115 sq. in.), and Super Oversize (116-135 sq. in.). Often the category is appended to the racquet's name for clarification.
Headsize is directly proportional to the power level of a racquet. That is, the larger the headsize, the more power you'll get. It also creates a larger sweetspot, making the racquet very forgiving on mishits. Beginner to intermediate players with slower, shorter strokes often choose an oversize racquet. The smaller the headsize, the more control you'll get. More advanced players tend to prefer midsize or midplus racquets when they learn how to generate their own power form their swings, but want greater control over their shots.
The beam width is a measurement of the thickness of the racquet's cross section. The thicker the beam is, the more power, comfort, and spin the racquet will provide. The thinner it is, the more stability and control you'll get. Many power-oriented oversized racquets designed for shorter swings have a thicker beam width.
Weight is measured by a still racquet. The rule of thumb is to use the heaviest racquet you can handle as the racquet gives more benefit as an insttrument. The problem is that when you get a racquet that is heavier than you can handle, you not only lose all the benefits but you incurr several disadvantages..
The length of a racquet is a measurement of the racquet from the butt of the handle to the tip of the bumper guard. Racquets come in lengths ranging from 27-29 inches, but the standard length is 27 inches. "Stretch" or "Extra Long" Racquets, sometimes denoted with an "X" at the end of the name are 27.25" or longer. This increase in length results in an increase in racquet head speed which comes at the expense of maneuverability. It can also improve serving results if used appropriately. This feature is not recommended for young junior players.
The balance of a racquet is a measure of the racquet's center of mass along the length of the racquet. This can be denoted as a measurement from the butt of the handle to the center in inches. It's also commonly denoted in points, with each point equallying 1/8 of an inch from the center. For example, a standard length 27" racquet with a balance point at 13-7/8 inches would be 3 points head heavy because it's 3/8 of an inch past the center (13-1/2 inches). If the balance point were at 13-1/8 inches, it would be 3 points head light. Be careful when using this measure because there is no uniform way of measuring it so numerous variances occur between manufacturers.
A racquet which is very head heavy allows for mass through the ball on groundstrokes. A racquet which is very head light creates enhanced feel and stability in the handle of the racquet for enhaced net performance. Keep in mind some racquets are limited in their balance by the other racquet specs. For example: very light oversize and junior racquets much be head heavy or hitting a tennis ball would be nearly impossible.
The swing weight is the most important measurement of a racquet. This is because its the most relevant measure of a racquet during its use. Taking into account its length, stationary weight, and balance point, swing weight is measured in kg-cm2. Players often pick up a racquet and immediately misgage the weight because they are sensing the swing weight and not the statis weight.
String patterns are either "open" or "closed". An open string pattern is one in which the stringbed is less dense because there're fewer mains and/or crosses. This increases the distance between strings. This pattern offers greater spin and power potential but lower string durability. A closed string pattern is one in which the stringbed is very dense. Closed string patterns offer greater control (but less spin) and longer string durability. Headsize can also affect the size of the holes in the string pattern, because larger headsizes will result in the strings being spaced further apart, making the pattern more open.
A racquet's stiffness is a measure of how much the racquet bends on impact, and is assigned a number rating. Stiffer racquets have a higher number, and more flexible racquets have a lower number. This has a direct affect on the racquet's power or control levels. A flexible racquet does not offer as much power as a stiff racquet because it abosrbs more energy (rather than deflecting it back) as it bends on impact. Stiffness also affects the racquet's comfort and feel. A stiffer racquet can result in more shock on the arm and shoulders than a more flexible racquet.
You can always contact us for help in your racquet decision.