Tennis is the name given to a popular sport, played by millions, all across the globe. Tennis brings with it an array of benefits which is why so many people indulge in this game in the first place. It is a sport that can challenge both the mind and body. Known to add years to your life, tennis is a great way to get into shape and stay healthy as it builds muscle, increases bone strength and burns calories too. It not only propels the mind and body to be alert simultaneously, it helps to get rid of stress and builds confidence at the same time.
With all the goodness being put side, tennis isn’t the easiest sport in the world to master. This is because it is considered and proven by many to require a set of skills, ranging from physical, mental, technical and tactical. Practice and training definitely do make a difference. However, another very important element of the game of tennis that can bring about a change in performance is the type of tennis racquet being used to play the game. Racquets ranging from an array of different sorts, brands and qualities are available in the market. How to pick out which tennis racquet is best for you among the immense variety available can turn out to be a daunting task. Let’s take a look at a simple guide that can help you understand everything you need to know about tennis racquets today.
How to choose a Good Tennis Racquet?
Tennis racquets are known to improve your performance by miles. For this reason, choosing a good tennis racquet should require careful thought and planning. Let’s look at the following pointers that can help you make the best purchase.
There are three major categories of racquets that you can look out for depending on your level as a player.
Beginners! Select Power Oriented Racquets
As a beginner, lean towards power oriented racquets- Power oriented or game improvement racquets is the name given to a racquet that possesses an oversized to super oversized head. Great for those who are beginners; these racquets are light in weight, long in length, stiffer in grip and above all are balanced head heavy. This is so that they are able to retain enough threshold and power at the zone of hitting. These are the type of racquets that should be considered for those tennis players with slower swings within a short distance. These players are guaranteed to get a sure shot hit as it grants them more power with the ease of comfort.
Skilled Ones should Go for Tweeners
Intermediate-Advanced players should opt for Tweener Racquets- These racquets are a great combination for those who strive for increased, variety filled maneuverability. These racquets are lighter in weight. They have a head that ranges from slightly head light to head heavy, extended in length with a mid-plus head. The best feature about Tweener racquets is that it gives the player low medium to high medium power capability.
Pro Players! Control Racquets are for you
Higher level players can choose from Control or Player’s Racquets- These are the sort of racquets that professionally active tennis enthusiasts should consider. The racquets on offer are heavier in weight. They have small heads and more flexible, yet thinner beams on offer. Offering more control, these racquets can be your choice of standard or increased length. The racquets are designed in such a way so as to retain the player’s range of maneuverability with balanced head light.
6 Features To Be Considered When Making The Best Tennis Racquet Purchase
Size of the Head
The level of power administered when playing tennis is directly proportional to the size of the head. This means that a smaller sized head will give you less power, whereas a larger sized head will grant you greater power. Other than that; a larger sized head as greater surface area, as it’ll give you the option of hitting the ball over a variety of locations on the head. This ultimately benefits the player when off center shots are hit. Head sizes commonly used today range from 85 to 135 square inches. The most commonly used head size however is 95 to 110 square inches. Another important factor to consider when selecting head size is, that this feature offers a compromise between the player’s level of control and power. Those who seek to get more control should opt for a smaller head size. This is for the more professionally active ones out there. On the other hand, those players ranging from beginners to intermediate should opt for bigger head size, giving them more power.
Tennis Racquet Length
Racquet length is directly proportional to dynamic swing weight. Longer the racquet, greater the level of swing weight! Length of racquet is usually set around an average that ranges from 27 to 29 inches long, where standard racquets are set around 27 inches. Longer racquets provide a slight edge in power when compared to standard length racquets. Other than that, greater leverage on serves is observed with more grasp on ground strokes.
Balance and Weight of the Racquet
These two features are crucial for any tennis player out there. This is because it determines how the racquet feels when you grasp it and swings it around. In general, a heavier racquet gives you more power and command than a lighter racquet. A heavier racquet also gives you enhanced stability and transmits lesser shock. On the other hand, a lighter racquet enhances the player’s maneuverability, giving you the freedom to swing at a faster rate.
Heavy Head Light Racquets
Perfect for those players who give their own power, are in control and retain maneuverability! It is a great option for the more professional tennis players out there.
Lightweight Head Heavy Racquets
This racquet offers you with the significant benefit of improved maneuverability with no compromise on power. If you’re more into lighter options, go for it.
Stiffness of frame
The stiffness of a racquet’s frame will affect its level of power. A stiff racquet obviously has less flexibility. This means it will bend less when hitting the ball, causing less energy loss. On the other hand, a more flexible racquet bends more, giving you more loss of energy when the ball is struck. Stiffer racquets are usually less comfortable to play with. Those players suffering from shoulder injuries should opt for more flexible or medium stiffness racquet frames.
String Pattern of Racquet
The feature of a racquet’s open or closed (dense) string pattern is usually overlooked by most players. Racquets with open string patterns will cause greater deflection of the ball and won’t feel tight with the ball is struck. At the same time, open string patterns will move more freely than dense string pattern racquets, giving them greater liability to breakage.
Handle System of the Racquet
Most racquets today come with a shock or vibrating dampening system incorporated into the handle. This is done by manufacturers so as to increase the player’s level of comfort, especially for those players who opt for lighter racquets.
Top 5 Tennis racquet brands you should opt for
When it comes to selection of brands for tennis racquets, it’s all about player preference and their brand loyalty. Various sports brands out there provide a vast array of tennis racquets to choose from. With that being said, selecting the right brand is crucial, making a vast difference on a tennis player’s impact on performance. There are a number of brands out there that have been serving tennis players with the best quality of racquets for over decades. They value their customers, making no compromise. Let’s take a look at the top 5 tennis racquet brands that are sure to provide you with the best.
The brand Prince has been serving customers for decades and continues its strive of providing the best in tennis gear. Some of the world’s top renowned professional tennis players are Prince’s loyal customers.
Street Tennis Club
Another great name for Tennis superstars around the world is Street Tennis Club Racquet. This brand has worked hard to achieve the position at which it stands today. Many professionals are seen going on tour with Street Tennis Club on hand.
When the likes of Tennis champions such as Rafael Nadal are part of a brands’ clientele, you know that’s the brand to be trusted. Babolat has over the years focused on its tennis range of products, especially racquets, to bring the best performance out of tennis stars.
From the likes of tennis giants such as Rodger Federer and Pete Sampras, Wilson has been showcased in the hands of Tennis legends at the biggest tournaments in the world. It’s one of the safest bets for tennis racquets that is sure to never disappoint.
Perhaps the most popular brand for tennis racquets has to go to Head. It has been played by tennis pros across the globe on their professional tours. Top names include Maria Sharapova, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray. Now if you’re looking to ace your tennis game like the names above, then Head is definitely a superb choice.
Range Of Tennis Racquets By Each Top Brand
We have already taken a glimpse at which brands you should look out for when opting to buy a tennis racquet. From material used, to structure, quality and design, tennis racquets can change the difference in outcome of an amateur as well as a professional player. Let’s take an in depth look at what racquets each brand has to offer, helping you in making the best buy.
Prince– Prince has been manufacturing a variety of tennis racquet designs for players to choose from. Each year keeps getting better than ever. Varieties on offer include their simple and classic, yet sleek graphite racquets. These are ideal options for amateur or traditional tennis players. Other than that, they have their Warrior lines and their Prince Tour lines. These lines are for the more daring and modern individuals out there. Some designs that have gained recent popularity include:
- EX03 Tour Warrior
- Warrior Pro 100
- Ex03 Tour 100
Street Tennis Club– They have strived in getting better every year with collections sure to put a smile on every tennis enthusiastic individual’s face. Other than that, Steet Tennis Club has introduced a customized line for its juniors or beginners, who are working their way up to master professional level.
Babolat– The tennis racquet collection lines at Babolat has always intended to focus upon specific aspects of play. If you’re the more adventurous kind, you can opt for their Pure Control line. They provide the player with simultaneous precision and huge strikes. Those in search of greater power can opt for their pure strike range of racquets. Another unique initiative taken aboard by Babolat is their Play Drive racquet range. With this racquet, players can take a great outlook on their match performance as the Play Drive records their statistics during play, allowing players to view it afterwards on their smart phone. It’s innovative technology at peak.
Wilson– As mentioned earlier, tennis superstars usually opt for Wilson. Those tennis players looking for racquet designs that have been used over the years, yet modified with newer features, they can opt for their Pro Staff line. This includes the amalgamation of superb quality of materials, latest and innovative technology and classic racquet design. Those players that hit hard might want to opt for Wilson’s Juice series. If you’re looking for greater stability, players can also look for their BLX series of racquets, in particular their Bas alt fiber technology.
Head– Head has taken out four lines for tennis racquets depending on player level and preference. These include their Junior Series, Recreational, Tournament and Pro series. Players that are beginners or who play for recreational purposes can enjoy racquets custom designed with plasma coated titanium technology as this will aid in precision. For those at tournament level, very light yet durable material has been used to create a range of their YouTek racquets.
5 Practical Tips for Tennis Racquet Care
Your tennis racquet is your ultimate guide to better performance on the court. With that being said, investing in a good tennis racquet is serious business and if you’re spending hundreds of dollars, you need to take care of your racquet to allow it to serve you with great performance for years to come. Let’s go over a few tips required for tennis racquet care.
Never leave your racquet in the trunk of your car-
Yes you heard that right, leaving your tennis racquet in the trunk of your car can be the biggest mistake. This is because extremes of temperature; be it hot or cold, can damage both the strings as well as the frame. Extreme heat will cause the strings to stretch, losing tension. Extremes of cold will result in increased brittleness and hardness.
Replace your grip occasionally
This means changing your grip at least two times in a year. The grip is where you grasp your racquet during play. It’s bound to get overused over time and worn out. This can lower or performance of hits as well as act as a ground for bacteria to breed.
Restring your racquet overtime
After one year of use; the strings of a tennis racquet should be replaced as they tend to lose their ability to maintain tension. Lack of tension is directly related to power and control. Losing the feel of your racquet can drastically affect your performance so restringing is crucial.
Service your racquet
Just like a car needs oil change; your racquet also requires a certain amount of service over time. Always consult with a certified service center in your area, someone who specializes in the field to avoid your racquet from getting into the hands of an amateur.
Use your tennis racquet for ‘tennis’ only
Yes believe it or not, your tennis racquet is for playing tennis only. You may consider this as a no brainer, but the tennis racquet is designed for the sole purpose of hitting a tennis ball. Never utilize it for abuse purposes. The string arrangement on your racquet is unforgiving in cases when it’s not used for only tennis. Made of graphite or composite fibers, the strings on your racquet are very sensitive and can easily break down. Even if damage is not visible on the string portion of your racquet, any impact other than that of a tennis ball can cause sure damage to the racquet’s frame.
Being the best tennis player out there is a constant struggle many individuals compete for. There is no denying the fact that a good tennis racquet is a vital element to any tennis player’s performance on the court.
There are a number of tennis racquets available on the market for players of all difficulty levels as well as unique designs, great features and weights. Choosing the best tennis racquet requires an in depth research of careful thought and planning. After all, we all strive to be the best out of the best and tennis is no exception!