HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR TENNIS RACKET
Every tennis player in the world is constantly searching for the ideal racquet that meets the optimal combination of these three variables. This guide will show you how to read and interpret tennis racquet specifications and understand how they affect power, control and manoeuvrability, making your choice easy and fun.
This is the oval surface of the racquet, expressed in inches2 or cm2. The head size affects the style of play and the speed of the ball output, and then the power of the racquet. A large impact zone produces more energy than a smaller one. Typically, a large head provides more “fair point” (useful impact area) and reduces the risk of off-centre hits. Advanced players, who are generally looking for more control, prefer smaller racquets, while beginners feel more comfortable using a larger surface.
It is the first value to be taken into consideration, not at all. The mechanism for understanding and remembering is as follows: a lightweight racquet produces a lot of power, but little control, whereas a heavy racquet offers a lot of control and less power. For this reason, beginners will find benefit from a lighter racquet, while a pro looking for maximum control will opt for a heavier frame.
This is the distance in millimetres between the base of the handle of the racquet and its point of balance. The balance point is an important value that gives us a guide on how the weight is distributed along the length of the tennis racket. In a standard 27-inch racquet, a neutral balance point is about 320mm. Remember: a racquet with a high balance (towards the head, bone more than 320-330 mm) will provide more thrust, but less control, on the contrary, a low balance (towards the throat, bone less than 320 mm) will provide more control of the ball, but less power.
It is the value that indicates the number of vertical and horizontal strings of our racket. The first value refers to the number of vertical strings and the second to the horizontal strings. A “dense” string pattern (e.g., 18×20) offers great control, while an “open” pattern (e.g., 16×18) generates a great deal of power. The string pattern also affects the ability to generate spin, in fact, in recent years has increased the spread of tennis rackets with the string pattern very open (16×15 for example) to meet the needs of players who enjoy the “top spin”.
Indicates the height of the racquet profile. A higher profile generates more power, a lower profile offers more control. Some racquets have a constant profile along the entire length, and therefore there is only one value (e.g. 22mm flat), while others have a variable profile along the length of the racquet (e.g. 22-24-22). Who uses many rotations (or backspin topspin) should avoid the use of high profiles: Because of the low impact angles it would be easy to hit the frame often.
Is everything clear? Now it’s your turn…
Surely you’re a little clearer now, and you can start your journey into the fantastic world of tennis by choosing your new racket. Even if you want to quickly become a champion, remember that in tennis learning is gradual and you should never forget the fun: tennis, besides being a sport is first and foremost a game. Choose the racket according to your level of play and the improvement goals you want to achieve. Be honest and objective with yourself, an appropriate choice of racket depends on the ease with which you will improve your tennis.