A good racket can significantly improve your tennis game. Before you go out and buy a top-of-the-line racket, you should be sure all its features fit your specific needs.
Rackets are more complex than you might think upon initial inspection. To ensure that you’re using the best racket for you, put time into understanding the different aspects of tennis rackets and be honest with yourself about your abilities.
Here are just a few major things to consider when looking for your perfect racket.
When browsing rackets, one thing to consider is the grip size. To measure the proper grip, record the distance from the crease of your palm to the top of your middle finger. If you are between grip sizes, you should choose the smaller grip and add an overgrip.
Beginners should start with a normal 27” racket, but 28” and 29” rackets are available for more experienced players. The traditional 27” rackets are easier to maneuver, but you will get more power and momentum with a longer racket. Your personal strength will also play a factor. You won’t need such a powerful racket if you’re a powerful hitter.
As far as strings, you have a plethora of options for any budget and preference. There’s nylon solid core, nylon/polyurethane, multifilaments, natural gut, polyester, and hybrids. Each has their own pros and cons as far as durability, shock absorption, stiffness and tension. You may have to experiment with different strings before finding your perfect fit. You should also consider string pattern and string gauge.
Similar to racket length, the weight distribution of your racket will largely depend on your skill level and playing style. A head-heavy racket will give you more power, but it’s harder to maneuver at the net. Those are best for players who rally from the baseline, while head-light rackets are better for servers, volleyers and all-court players. If you want the best of both worlds, a balanced racket could be for you.
When possible, try out a racket before your purchase. You can either take a few swings in the store or try out a friend’s racket to see how it feels in your hand. When you have the perfect racket, you’ll notice a difference in both feeling and performance.