Tennis racquet sizes: Head, grip, and gauge

By The Purple Court | Tennis Racquet Advice

Tennis racquet sizes: Head, grip, and gauge
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After learning the fundamentals of tennis, the next thing you need is a good quality racquet that suits your level and goals. There are hundreds of tennis racquets, which makes purchasing the appropriate one challenging.

There are different tennis racquet sizes in terms of head, grip, and gauge – which one among them is right for you?

Why choose appropriate tennis racquet sizes?

Choosing the right kind of tennis racquet size for you can directly influence your performance. You might not realize it at first, but this and other factors that go with a racquet can determine your manner of play. This is the reason why it is important to use the tennis racquet suitable for you.

There are hundreds of tennis racquets but you can’t simply pick the one with a nice grip or cool design. You need to consider things like the weight, head size, balance point, string pattern, swing weight, string material, and so on. Do you see how complicated it is to choose the right tennis racquet?

This article shows you the sizes in a tennis racquet that needs to take into consideration.

Head size

The head size is the size of the frame and strings (the racquet face) and affects how much power you can create. A larger head size has a larger sweet spot and hitting area, so it is easier for the player to strike the ball in the middle of the racquet face.

There are three head sizes: mid-size, mid plus, and oversize. Head sizes from 95 square inches and below are mid-size and provide more control; 105 square inches and above are oversize and support power; and 95–105 square heads are mid plus, offering a combination of power and control.

The Prince Tour 98 ESP Tennis Racquet has a 98 square inch head size, which falls under the mid-size category. It provides a good balance of power and control which allows you to strike with minimal effort and spin.

Grip size

The grip size is basically the size of your hand. It is measured by holding a racquet and determining if it comfortably fits or not.

You can also measure your exact grip size through the ruler test and index finger test. In the US, the grip sizes range from 4 inches/101.6 mm to 4.75 inches/123 mm. In Europe, grip size is labeled from 0 to 5.

Finding the grip size appropriate to your hands is vital to your tennis performance. Choose something that you are comfortable to play with.

Using a racquet with the wrong grip can cause a lot of problems such as poor control, less power, hand and shoulder injuries, and hand irritation. It is as wrong as wearing the wrong shoes.

Gauge size

The gauge size, or string gauge, is the thickness of the string that affects the spin and feel of the racquet. The usual gauge size ranges from 15-18, with half sizes labeled with an L. For instance, a 17L gauge size means 17.5.

The higher the number, the thinner the string is. Usually, a thinner string is better and gives more control, comfort, power, spin, and bounciness. The only drawback of thinner strings is that they tend to break easily compared to thicker ones.

To choose the gauge size appropriate for your level and performance, start with a thin string. If you break it, choose a thicker one.

Continue doing it until you have chosen the size that does not easily break and comfortably bounces based on how you play.

To help you with the gauge size, here is a little guide:

  • Gauge size 15 is 1.43 mm in diameter.
  • 15L is 1.38 mm
  • 16 is 1.32 mm
  • 16L is 1.28 mm
  • 17 is 1.25 mm
  • 17L is 1.20 mm
  • 18 is 1.10 mm

Aside from the sizes above, there are many other factors to consider. But among these factors, you should always consider your comfort. Your comfort defines how you play and keeps you from injuries.

Here are some examples of the best selling racquets:

  • Prince Tour 98 ESP Tennis Racquet
  • Wilson Hyper Hammer 5.3 Strung Tennis Racket
  • Wilson Tour Slam Lite Tennis Racquet
  • Babolat 2017 Pure Strike 100 Tennis Racquet

It is also worth noting that you should not always believe the hype. The latest racquet or the racquet used by winning tennis players does not mean that it’s the most appropriate tennis racquet for you.

Only consider the factors mentioned above – your level and goals – to help improve your performance.