Choosing The Right Tennis Racquet

By: Greg Wolf


Whether you are a beginner or have been playing tennis for several years now, it is always important to find the right racquet. Naturally, you will want to choose one that will help improve your chances of winning.

But choosing the right tennis racquet can be quite an intimidating task — especially now with the proliferation of tennis racquets in different weight, form and look.

So how do you choose which one is right for you? Should you purchase an ultra-light racquet? Or is your game better suited to a heavier model? Here is a simple guide to help simplify your task of choosing that perfect tennis racquet.

When shopping for the right tennis racquet, the first thing you must decide on is to choose between power, control or both?

If you're a beginner, you should play with a racquet that's light enough to swing and yet powerful enough to win you that game.

To achieve this, it is recommended that you buy a racquet that weighs between 9 and 10 ounces, has an oversize head measuring at least 100 sq. in. and has a beam width (the thickness of the frame) that's at least 25 millimeters thick. Having an oversized head of at least 100 sq in will give you enough power and. at the same time, help improve your chances of hitting the ball. A "wide" beam, on the other hand, makes the frame stiff and therefore more powerful.

Advanced players usually prefer control over power and having a racquet that weighs at least 10.5 ounces will give you more control. If you're an intermediate, try a racquet that offers a blend of power and control, falling between the heavy, thin-beamed control racquets and the lighter and bigger power sticks.

You also have to decide between a pre-strung model or a premium "performance," frame. Pre-strung racquets cost from $25 to around $100. Most premium frames are priced between $100 and $250 and feature the latest technology. With premium racquets, you usually need to buy string separately and have it installed in the frame.

Traditionally, every racquet was 27 in long but now, adult racquets come in lengths up to 28 inches. On the upside, extra long frames are said to be more powerful because the contact point is farther away from your body — resulting in greater momentum on your swing. The downside is that an extra-long racquet may not be as maneuverable as a 27-inch frame.

Another important consideration is the racquet’s balance. A racquet's balance is either head heavy, head light, or even.

Head-heavy racquets give you more power on ground strokes but are less maneuverable, which can be a problem when you're at the net. Players who like to rally from the baseline tend to prefer head-heavy frames. Head-light racquets are easier to maneuver at net, but they won't deliver the power of head-heavy frames when you hit from the baseline. Serve-and-volleyers, all-court players, and advanced players who take full swings generally like head-light racquets. Evenly balanced frames offer a blend of power from the baseline and maneuverability at the net. They usually appeal to all-court players.

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Greg Wolf is the CTO (Chief Tennis Officer) at Midwest Sports Supply, an online tennis retailer specializing in tennis racquets, tennis shoes, tennis apparel and other tennis gear to help your tennis game.

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