Whilst tennis rackets may look roughly similar, rackets can vary considerably in terms of composition and performance and are often targeted at a specific standard of the tennis player. How then do you choose between them and find the right tennis racket for yourself? Here are few points you can keep in mind which will help you choose the right racket suitable for your level.
Entry-level tennis rackets are usually made from steel. The low cost of the material makes steel rackets ideal for occasional players or beginners, but do not offer the same level of performance as other materials on the market.
The next step up on the ladder is aluminium rackets. Aluminium rackets offer a similar level of strength as steel rackets but are much lighter, which makes the rackets easier to handle.
The most common materials used for tennis rackets today are composite materials. Primarily carbon fibre rackets but sometimes fibreglass or titanium alloys, composite materials offer the greatest performance characteristics. Therefore, these rackets are ideal for regular tennis players thanks to the fact that they are much lighter than both aluminium and steel rackets, and can also be moulded into the desired shape more easily.
Lighter rackets (less than 280g) are the more suitable option for beginners or occasional players seeking improvements to their technique, as lightweight rackets are easier to handle.
Heavier rackets (above 280g) are less suitable for beginners as well as for junior players making the transition to using adult rackets. The rackets will require more strength as and will be difficult to handle.
However, the extra weight allows the player to generate increased power in their shots. More advanced players will look towards the heavier rackets.
Tennis rackets can be manufactured in such a way as to alter how the weight is distributed in the racket. Distributing the weight of the racket towards the handle provides the player with increased control but decreased power.
Beginner tennis rackets often distribute the weight towards the head of the racket, as this allows increased shot power without increasing the overall weight of the racket.
Racket Head Size
As the racket head size increases, the level of power that a player is able to generate will increase, though as head size increases the level of control attainable will decrease.
Beginners should generally choose a medium to large head size as this will maximize the power they are able to generate and also minimise the risk of hitting the ball close to the rim of the racket. Therefore, they can have more confidence in hitting the ball in the right direction.
Regular and advanced players who are able to consistently hit the ball from the centre of the racket because of their refined technique will often choose a smaller head size in order to maximise control.
Handle length is very important in terms of comfort. Generally, a matter of personal preference, the most suitable handle length also depends on whether the player prefers to play certain shots two-handed or instead chooses to play all shots one-handed.
Players who play some of their shots two-handed will generally require a slightly longer handle than those that play exclusively one-handed.