Tennis racquet buying guide: Towards better performance

By The Purple Court | Tennis Racquet Advice

Tennis racquet buying guide: Towards better performance
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Choosing the kind of tennis racquet defines your game and performance. The characteristics that a tennis racquet has can extremely influence how you play.

It might not be notable at first but if you want to improve on certain aspects of tennis, you might want to consult a tennis racquet buying guide. It will help you identify the important factors that you need to make you a better tennis player.

Tennis is a racket sport that can be played by two players against two players (doubles) or 1 player against one opponent (singles). Players use a tennis racket made with cord to strike a rubber ball over a net towards the opponent’s court. It is played for recreation and also a part of the Olympics.

Tennis racquet buying guide

If you are a tennis player, you know how important it is to use a high-quality tennis racket that you are comfortable playing with. So, here is a list of the important factors will help you find that racquet suitable for you.

Head size

The head size is the size of the racquet face, the frame, and the strings. It is responsible for how much power you can execute.

It is worth noting that a larger head size provides you a larger hitting area, which makes it easy to strike the ball. Therefore, it is important to consider this factor.

Usual head sizes range from 85 to 135 inches and come in 3 categories: mid-size (95 square inches or below), mid plus (95 – 105 square inches) and oversize (105 square inches). The best for beginners are larger head sizes because they provide more power, while experienced tennis players prefer smaller ones because they offer more control.

String pattern

String pattern provides power, spin, and durability depending on the type: closed or open. What is the difference between the two? The open string pattern, usually seen in 16×18 racquets, has fewer intersecting strings.

It is more elastic and provides more power and spin when the user hits the ball. The user also has a better feel for the ball than with a closed string pattern.

On the other hand, the closed string pattern, usually found in 18×20 racquets, has more intersecting cross strings which create a stronger racquet face. This durability, however, compromises power and spin because it does not bounce the ball as much. A closed string pattern is best for players who hit hard and need more control.

String material

There are hundreds of racquet strings in stores and choosing which one best suits your performance can be challenging. To give you an idea, here are the five common strings:

  • Natural gut. Natural gut is made of cow intestine. It has the highest standard for compacting the ball more deeply in a lesser area on the racquet face and gives back the ball’s energy.
  • Nylon solid core. Nylon solid core is the most commonly used and more affordable racquet string. It is relatively durable and manages tension well. Its drawback, however, is it’s a bit stiff and does not provide much comfort.
  • Polyurethane multifilaments. This kind of string is made of thousands of individual fibers woven together to make a single string. It provides great feel, comfort, and absorbs shock well.
  • Polyester is used by experienced players who swing hard and regularly break strings. One major drawback is it fails to provide more tension.
  • Hybrid is the combination of one or more types of racquet strings. It is made for durability reasons but it gives a board feel.

Weight

The weight of the racquet affects the control and power of the player. Lighter racquets allow more speed and movement, while heavier racquets allow for more stability, power, and shock absorbency. Racquet weight can be identified through the following categories: head-light, balanced, and head-heavy.

Most racquets have a heavy head, and the weight of the handle identifies the weight category. A racquet under the head-heavy category has a heavy head and a light handle.

There are more factors to consider when choosing a tennis racquet – grip, string tension, string gauge, and frame. But it is more important first to determine your tennis experience and performance. From it, you can identify which among the factors you need to bring your performance to the next level.

Have a fun, productive tennis game!