How To Choose A Tennis Racket
Knowing how to choose a racket is an essential part of your tennis game. The right racket should complement your swing, giving your swing the additional power you need, or giving your powerful swing a more fine-tuned control. What determines the variation in rackets is head size, string tension, length, weight and grip.
- Head size will determine the power of your swing, in combination with string tension. A large head lends itself to a more powerful swing and a large "sweet spot." Oversize rackets measure between 107 and 125 square inches, up to as much as 135 square inches are considered "super oversize." A head that provides a middle ground between power and control is considered midsize and ranges between 100 and 106 square inches. Traditional rackets are smaller than 100 square inches, have a smaller sweet spot and offer great control, but the power in the swing must come from the player. The power and control of your racket's head can be further fine tuned by having the strings adjusted. By releasing slight tension in the strings, you can give more power, but sacrifice control. Tighter strings will rebound less, thus losing power, but provide more taut control.
- The length of your racket mostly depends on your comfort as a player. Traditional rackets are 27.5 to 28 inches long, combine power and control, and are well suited to smaller players. However, most rackets in use today are considered long rackets, and measure 28.5 to 29 inches long. These provide slightly more power in your swing, and make it slightly easier to cover area on a tennis court. Ultimately, the length of your racket will be determined by your comfort level as a player.
- A racket's weight also determines both power and control. Super light rackets weigh between 9 and 9.4 ounces and offer superior shot control, again at a cost to swing power. Mid-weight rackets weigh in between 9.8 and 10.9 ounces and are a good versatile fit for most players, offering a balance of power and control. For those looking for more added power while still maintaining some maintenance for control, heavy rackets are a good option, weighing more than 11 ounces.
- The grip of a racket is easy to determine with an easy trick. As you grip the racket, place your index finger between your thumb and four fingers. If there is no room for your finger, the grip is too small. If there is space between your finger, and the fingers of your gripping hand, the grip is too large. You want your index fingers to perfectly fill the gap between thumb and fingers on your gripping hand. If the choice comes between a grip that is too small or too big, err on the smaller side of the scale, as you can always buy cloth tape at sporting goods stores to increase the size of the grip to a suitable level.
Once you have these factors set in your racket choice, you're well on your way to improving your game. As you develop as a player, you may find that you want to fine tune some things, and this is to be expected. Now that you know how to choose a tennis racket, you will be more aware of what to look for in your tennis equipment in the future. Good luck, and have fun!