we imagine that you already have an idea of the type of racket you are looking for.
Do you want a more modern and better racket? Or you are a beginner you need the best tennis racket for beginners maybe you want more power, more control, more comfort…,
or just a little of everything? Whatever your reasons for buying a new racquet, here are some basic ideas to help you make up your mind.
It may be that you have no idea which racket is best for you and what has motivated you is simply having read an article about rackets recently.
If we add to this the enormous number of rackets available on the market today, the task is complicated! To make the choice easier, we have prepared this manual with the characteristics of the rackets and the influence they have on the performance of the player.
We also invite all customers to read our racket reports, where you will find detailed information from professional tennis players about the results on the court of certain rackets.
Our Racket Technologies section also presents explanations and illustrations of the racket technologies and materials, such as nCode, Hot Melt, Liquidmetal and F.I.R.E, among others. Finally, we have developed our section Terms:
Rackets and Strings to offer you the most used definitions and terms on our website and to describe the performance of rackets and strings.
- 1 There are currently 3 main categories of rackets, with several subcategories:
- 2 Category 1: Power Rackets or Game Enhancement
- 3 Category 2: Rackets for Intermediate-Advanced Players (Tweener)
- 4 Category 3: Control Rackets
- 5 What characteristics must be taken into account when choosing the right racket?
- 6 Head Size
- 7 Length
- 8 Weight and Balance
- 9 Frame stiffness
- 10 String Pattern
- 11 Grip and Handle Systems
There are currently 3 main categories of rackets, with several subcategories:
Category 1: Power Rackets or Game Enhancement
This is the term of tennis used by racquet manufacturers for control-oriented racquets.
In most cases, these racquet models are designed with heads with size from oversize to super-oversize (690-871 cm2), light weight (226-269 g), long (68.6-73.7 cm ), rigid and with a heavy head balance, or neutral balance, to retain enough weight in the hitting area,
And are designed for players with a short and slow swing who want to get more power from the racket.
Category 2: Rackets for Intermediate-Advanced Players (Tweener)
There are several models that offer a good combination of many of the features of game enhancement rackets. These are rackets that are usually quite light (269-312 g),
With varied balance (from rackets with a slightly light head to rackets with a slightly heavy head), with a mid plus head (613-658 cm2) and usually with a somewhat greater length. then the standard (69.8-71 cm).
These racquet models provide low-medium to medium-high power and are more attractive to intermediate-advanced players looking for greater and better maneuverability.
Category 3: Control Rackets
In this category are the rackets that are commonly used by professionals, as well as club players with a high level.
These models are characterized by a heavier weight (326-368.5 g or more), small head (548-632 cm2), a thinner and more flexible frame profile and a light head balance to maintain maneuverability.
The result is a less powerful racket designed for players who give their racket their own power and who prefer a weapon that gives them more control. The length of these rackets can be standard or longer than standard.
What characteristics must be taken into account when choosing the right racket?
Power is directly related to head size – all things being equal, a large headed racquet provides the player with more power than a small headed one.
On the other hand, a racket with a large head has a larger hitting area and a wider sweet spot, which translates into greater tolerance on off-center hits.
Currently the heads of rackets usually measure between 548 and 871 cm2, but most measure between 613 and 710 cm2.
This head size offers a large number of players a perfect compromise between power and control.
In general, small head racquets are intended for more experienced players looking for more control, while wider head racquets are typically intended for intermediate players looking for more power and a wider sweet spot.
The length of a racket varies between 68.58 and 77.66 cm, which are the legal limits for tournaments. Standard length racquets measure 27 inches.
All things being equal, a longer racquet offers more reach on groundstrokes, added leverage on serves, and slightly more overall power compared to a standard length racquet.
For most players, moving to a 1.27-2.54 cm longer racket is usually not a problem. In order to maintain maneuverability, most longer racquets are lighter than their standard length counterparts.
As the length increases, the dynamic swingweight increases as well. Extending a 68.58 cm racquet without reducing its weight would result in a very heavy and difficult to handle ‘club’ racquet.
Weight and Balance
These two characteristics mainly influence the sensation that the racket gives the player when he grabs it and hits the ball with it. Here are some basics: All things being equal, a heavy racquet is more powerful and stable and delivers less shock than a light racquet.
A lightweight racket is more maneuverable and therefore the player can hit faster. If this is true, won’t a lighter racket that is struck quickly generate the same power as a heavier racket that is struck more slowly?
This question has been the subject of countless debates since Wilson introduced its Hammer rackets in 1990. Until then, rackets weighed an average of 340-369 grams and had a light head balance.
Wilson’s Hammer “technology” reduced the overall weight of the racquet (283.5-312g) and redistributed the mass, adding more to the head and resulting in head-heavy balance.
The idea was to improve maneuverability without sacrificing power by keeping weight in the hitting area of the racket.
Since then, the weight of the rackets began to decrease constantly until we were faced with many different manufacturers that design rackets with weights of less than 283.5 grams. Is this light weight better? Not necessarily.
So what racket weight is best for each player? And what balance? Which balance is better, light headed, heavy headed or neutral balance? To be able to answer this question correctly you need a point of reference.
How much does your current racket weigh? What kind of balance does it have? How many centimeters or points? If you don’t know, you can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you the manufacturer’s characteristics, if available.
Next we need to know the following: do you want a racket lighter, heavier or with a similar weight to the current one? Light headed, heavy headed, or neutrally balanced?
You probably don’t know what you want until you play with a racket. If this is not possible, here are some guidelines on the advantages and disadvantages of different weights and balances.
Heavier rackets with a light head are preferred by most professional players; they are commonly known as “traditional weight and balance rackets”.
They typically weigh between 312 and 368.5 grams and have a light head balance of between 1.27 and 2.54 cm to maintain maneuverability. In most cases, these rackets are also known as “control rackets” as they are more control-oriented and designed for players who provide their own power to the racket.
Light head heavy rackets. Several years ago, Wilson discovered that it was possible to make a racquet more maneuverable without reducing the weight of your head.
By taking the weight off the handle, the racket was overall lighter, but still had the same mass at the top, that is, where the contact with the ball occurs. This was the idea behind their Hammer and Sledge Hammer designs.
Subsequently, several racquet manufacturers introduced this innovative model of light racquets with a heavy head and neutral balance. The advantage of this type of racket lies fundamentally in the greater maneuverability that is achieved without losing any power, especially on groundstrokes.
The downsides are less clear; some “experts” hold the idea that weight reduction increases the shock transmitted to the wrist, elbow and shoulder. Some players who have moved from their traditional weight and balance racket to a light racket model with a heavy head claim that these types of rackets do not feel “solid”.
Obviously, nobody gives hard to pesetas. Reducing the weight of the racquet modifies its feel, for better or for worse. Don’t forget that you can always add weight to a racquet if it is too light; however, reducing the weight of a racquet is almost impossible.
The deflection of the racket frame during contact with the ball directly affects its power potential. A stiffer racket flexes less and therefore reduces less ball energy.
A more flexible racket bends more, resulting in a greater loss of energy. A widespread myth among players is that a flexible racket, which bends further back, returns more power to the ball thanks to the catapult effect.
The ball stays in the string for 3-5 milliseconds, much less than it takes for the frame to recover.
Therefore, the frame of a racket does not “return” energy to the ball, but absorbs it more or less depending on the stiffness. Rigid racquets do not deflect as much on impact, which translates into less power consumption than a flexible racquet.
However, the stiffness of the frame not only affects power, but control and comfort are also at stake. Generally, a racket that offers more power provides less control.
However, this largely depends on the type of player and their skill; An advanced player may prefer a flexible racket as he has a long, fast swing himself and provides plenty of power.
A stiff racket can be too powerful for these types of players as it would result in too many balls being thrown too far. For their part, a beginner or intermediate player may consider and appreciate the better control offered by a stiff racquet that does not drift too much on impact.
The same may appear to a more advanced player with shorter, more compact strokes. To some extent, stiff racquets are typically less comfortable than more flexible racquets.
A very stiff frame transmits more impact shock to the wrist, elbow and shoulder than a medium stiff frame. Regarding comfort, it is difficult to measure it objectively since each player has a different perception of this sensation.
In any case, players with shoulder and / or arm problems are better off playing with a racket with a flexible frame or medium stiffness and avoid rigid or very rigid frames.
Another effect of the rigidity of the frames, this less known, has to do with the amount of effects that can be generated. Generally speaking, stiffer rackets provide less spin than flexible rackets since the ball leaves the string much faster.
String pattern is often overlooked by many casual players, which is a mistake as the density of the string influences many aspects of the overall feel, performance and performance of the racket. When we talk about the density of the string pattern we mean open or closed.
An open string pattern deviates much more at impact than a tighter string pattern, so it will provide more bounce for the ball. If we string two similar rackets with the same tension, the open string pattern will not be as “tight” as the closed string pattern.
The open string patterns also allow for more spin potential as the ball can be embedded further into the strings thanks to its wider spacing.
Players looking for more spin will find much benefit in more open string patterns, in exchange for a reduction in string durability.
Open string patterns allow the strings to move more freely, resulting in increased abrasion, causing string breakage.
A tighter string pattern does not deviate as much at the moment of impact of the ball, resulting in less rebound energy.
On the other hand, this type of string pattern offers less spin potential, but lasts longer than a similar racket with a more open string pattern.
Players who don’t hit the ball with much spin and are looking for greater and better control will typically prefer racquets with tighter string patterns, as will large topspin hitters who want more string durability.
Grip and Handle Systems
As rackets get lighter and lighter, manufacturers are looking for solutions to improve comfort without having to increase their weight significantly.
The most widely used method today is to incorporate a shock and vibration damping system into the handle of the racket.
Some of these systems are Dunlop’s ISIS, Head’s No SHOX, Prince’s Air, and Volkl’s Sensor, designed to offer varying degrees of effectiveness in reducing frame shock and vibration. Wilson and Yonex also present comfort systems such as Iso-Zorb and V-Con technologies.