The answer to the question “How to choose the right tennis racket” is significant for a player who wants to achieve high results. The level of play, comfort, and the number of injuries largely depends on how accurately the racket is matched to the person.
We will tell you how to choose the right tennis racket for an adult (man or woman).
How To Choose The Right Tennis Racket
In the narrow sense of the word, a tennis racquet consists of a handle and a striking surface to be hit. If we consider the racket in more detail, then it consists of the following main parts:
- Head: The largest part of the racket. The head consists of a rim and strings stretched through it.
- Lever: For this part, the player holds the racket. The handle has an oblong shape; there is a proprietary plug at the end.
- Strings: Strings are an essential element of the racket. They are stretched across the rim of the racket with a special machine that regulates the tension force. The strings affect how fast and how the ball will fly after hitting and how much recoil will be in the player’s body. The racket can come with or without strings.
Things To Consider When Buying Tennis Racket
To choose a budget tennis racket for an adult, you need to know the criteria of a good tennis racket. Here are the main parameters of the rackets to be considered:
- Manufacturing material.
- Price range.
- Racket length.
- Handle size.
- Manufacturing firm.
- String surface area.
- String formula.
Below we will describe each of these parameters in more detail.
In tennis rackets, materials such as aluminum, graphite, basalt, kevlar, ceramics, titanium, fiberglass, carbon are used.
The rackets can be made entirely of one of the above materials or an alloy. The cheapest rackets are made from aluminum. They are durable and lightweight.
However, they are very light (200-250 g), suitable only for beginners. Experienced players often play with graphite rackets, and pro players prefer to play with carbon rackets.
The cost of tennis rackets varies from tens to hundreds of dollars. The price of a racket depends on the material, brand, and parameters of the racket.
For beginners, women, amateurs who want to try tennis, an aluminum racket that costs 5-15 dollars is best suited. To play a couple of times a month, this will be enough.
If you desire to learn the game more deeply and play more often, more intensively, you should go for a good graphite racket. Its price will already be significantly higher compared to the entry-level rackets: $ 70-150.
Pro rackets, of course, are even more expensive, but not by much: $ 300-500. An excellent racket that allows you to demonstrate high-level play costs about $ 100-150 – quite an affordable price.
The length of the racket affects the style of play. The longer it is, the more difficult it is to maneuver. Also, the longer the racquet, the larger the shoulder, hence the stronger the hit.
A short racket is easier to control; you can quickly change its position during the rally. A quick maneuver is required when playing at the net.
Adult racket lengths range from 27 to 29 inches. The most popular rackets are 27-28 “long, the 29” is an elongated racket.
The best option for a beginner is a 27-inch racket; more experienced players can play with rackets of any length.
The weight of the racket significantly affects the force and speed of the strike. The heavier the racket, the harder the hit will be. With a heavier racket, it is easier to deliver a powerful blow, to execute a quick-serve.
However, it is harder to disperse it, and it is also physically more challenging to play with a heavy racket: each hit will require more physical effort than a light racket.
A lightweight racket weighing up to 300 grams is easy to maneuver; it is easy and comfortable to play with one hand from the backhand, compared to a heavy one. The weight of the racket varies from 250 to 340 grams.
For beginners, it is better to start with light rackets, gradually moving on to heavier ones. Professionals play mostly with heavy racquets because in rallies, powerful blows are exchanged, the maximum power of a blow is achieved only with a heavy racket.
Handle size of Racket
The convenience and comfort of the game depend on how accurately the handle is matched to the player. Handle sizes range from 4 to 4 and 3/4 (in inches).
If the handle is too small or too large, the racket will not fit well in hand; it will spin often; therefore, there will be a lot of greased strokes, kicks, etc.
To determine the handle size, take the racket in one hand that you usually use to hold the racket. Then stick your other hand between the tips of the fingers of the racket hand and the palm of your hand.
If the finger does not fit into this gap or has great difficulty getting there, then the handle is too small. If the gap between the fingertips and the palm is too large, then the handle is too large; you need to take an order of magnitude less.
If you select the handle size wrong, you will experience great discomfort while playing. The racket can be slipped off the hand, spin, and the strikes will periodically break.
Therefore, the level of play, class, and accuracy of strikes will suffer greatly. It’s better to go with a smaller handle than a larger one. You can wrap a grip on the handle to get the volume at your comfort level.
There are a handful number of companies in the world that produce high-level tennis rackets. The most famous of them are Wilson, Babolat, Yonex, Head, Dunlop.
Top world players prefer Wilson rackets; in particular, top tennis players such as Roger Federer and Serena Williams play with this company’s equipment.
Balance of Tennis Racket
For different racquets, the balance is shifted to a specific part relative to the center of the product. There are rackets with head balance, medium balance, and handle balance.
To determine the racket’s balance, insert your finger in the racket’s center into the cavity between the head and the handle. When the racket is balanced, it will take one of three positions: parallel to the floor (neutral balance), head down (head balance), and handle down (handle balance).
Let’s talk about all three balance options in more detail:
- Head balance: In this type racket’s center of gravity is shifted to the “head.” which means the maximum weight is shifted to the head. Striking with these rackets generates more power, a little more difficult to control. Because the greater the distance from the hand, the more bulky the racket will be.
- Neutral balance: A versatile mid-balanced racket with equal weight distribution. Suitable for players who like to play both on the back row and at the net.
- Handle balance: It is suitable for players who choose control over power, loves to play nearby the net. Strikes with such a racket are less powerful than with a racket with a balance to the “head,” but it is easier to control the ball.
String surface area
This parameter primarily affects the accuracy of strikes. The larger the head area of the racket, the lesser the chance of missing the ball.
On the other hand, a racket with a small string area makes it harder to hit the ball, but hits are more accurate. For beginners, it is better to choose a racket with a large string surface area; for experienced players, a racket with a small head is more suitable.
The head area ranges from about 420 sq. to nearly 900. The average racket has a string surface area of 620-680 square meters.
It is the ratio of the vertical and horizontal strings in the racket. The most popular string formula for adult racquets is 16×19—more strings in the racket help it generate more accurate shots.
Types Of Tennis Racket
There are a lot of racket gradations, let’s talk about the main ones:
- Depending on the gender of the player: men, women, children.
- By head size in square centimeters: standard (426), midsize (452-574), mid plus (580-677), oversize (710-742), super oversize (748-871).
- Depending on the length of the racket: short (27 inches long), medium (28), long (29).
- By weight: light (250-270 g), medium (271-320 g), and heavy (321-360 g). Light to medium rackets is best suited for beginners and defensive players, amateurs. Pros prefer heavy racquets.
Men and women need to pay great attention to the choice of racket size and weight.
The best expensive models
The best expensive rackets on the market come from brands such as Wilson, Head, and Babolat. In particular, these are the following racket models:
- Babolat Pure Aero: The line of rackets in this series is designed for aggressive players. The price of the racket is about $ 180.
- Line Head Graphene 360: The cost of the rackets is about $ 350.
- Wilson Blade 98: Racket price – about $ 220.
Best cheap models
When buying a cheap racket, you need to try to get the highest quality product for a small amount. We will not consider the cheapest rackets, which cost only $ 10-20, but these are rackets for the first steps.
Among the slightly more expensive rackets, you should, first of all, take a closer look at brands such as Babolat, Prince, Yonex, Dunlop, but you can also find good options from such promoted brands such as Wilson and Head.
Of the specific inexpensive models, the Wilson Roger Federer 26 can be distinguished. The racket costs only about $ 30.
Important Racket accessories
The essential accessories experienced tennis player uses are:
Winding: The winding is an elastic band that is wrapped around the racket handle. With the help of the winding, you can adjust the size of the racket handle.
Also, the winding affects the comfort of the racket grip comfort during the game.
Vibration damper: It is installed between the racket’s strings, closer to the center of the handle. The purpose of the damper is to reduce noise and vibration after impact.
The fact is that during the strike, the strings stretch and begin to vibrate, causing the hand, harming the joints and ligaments.
The damper significantly reduces these vibrations. Also, the racket generates less noise when hitting the ball.
Many novice players and amateurs pay little attention to strings, do not follow them. Meanwhile, a lot depends on the strings. How accurately the strings are matched to your playing style, how well they are stretched affects the accuracy of the blow, the power of the blow, and the ball’s rotation.
As you play, the strings stretch, causing the strength and accuracy of your strikes to decrease. Therefore, the strings need to be changed from time to time – given to professionals for hauling.
When buying a racket, you need to pay attention to the presence of strings: sometimes rackets are sold without them; this should not be scary.
What are the types of strings?
Strings are available in multi-fiber and monofilament. The first type is a set of fibers twisted together.
Monofilament strings are made up of a single string. At the moment, multifilament strings are becoming more and more popular because they retain their elasticity longer.
Strings come in a variety of diameters:
- 16 – diameter 1.28-1.32 mm.
- 17 – diameter 1.24-1.27 mm.
- 18 – diameter 1.22 mm.
The thinner the string, the more it deforms and bends under the ball during impact. Accordingly, such strings envelop the ball more, increasing the contact area between the ball and the string surface.
As a result, the shot is more accurate; the player has more control of the ball with different shots. Also, thinner strings give the ball more speed and spin. Thicker strings will bend less under the ball, giving it less speed and spin.
When choosing strings, you need to understand your playing style: aggressive play, powerful flat shots and serves, or ball-holding, more spins, and less power.
Depending on the style of play matched the corresponding strings: calculated on the striking power ( power ), on rotation ( of spin ), playing comfort ( comfort ), a game with the preservation of significant service life of the strings ( durability).
Final Word About Right Tennis Racket
To better imagine which racket is most suitable for you, it is advisable to play several times with different rackets and decide which one is more comfortable to play, which turns out to be more successful.
To do this, you can ask your friends, rivals for rackets, or you can rent several models. It will not be superfluous to talk with an experienced coach or player who can tell and suggest which racket is most suitable depending on the player’s anthropometric data and playing style.
Also, directly in the store, you need to consult with the seller, twirl various rackets in your hands, check the comfort of the grip, balance.
A beginner should take some average model: medium weight (280-320 g), medium or short length, large head, neutral balance. Only after that can you proceed to the purchase.