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How to choose a Tennis Racket DRAFT1

The Ultimate Tennis Racket Buying Guide - How to Choose Your Tennis Racket?

There’s a ton of different Tennis Rackets out there……so how do you possibly know which to choose?

Can't work out what Tennis Racket to Buy?

It can appear more than a little overwhelming at first with so many options, but Tennis HQ is here to help. We will break down everything you need to know about buying the right tennis racket for you.

To enable you to help you buy we’ve designed our Tennis Rackets main range filters to match the choices to buying to the below questions. This should make it even easier for you to find the right Tennis Racket.

The first question you’ll want to ask yourself is what style of player are you, or what type of player do you want to become?

  • All Round Play - All aspects of your game aim to be solid and strong (Novak Djokovic style)
  • Power Attacking - Out play opponents by driving out of the point (Rafa Nadal style)
  • Counter Attacking - Spin Style (Andy Murray style)
  • Precision & Control by moving players around the court to create space (Roger Federer style)

The right racket will empower your preferred style of play, so choosing carefully is key!

Most players will say they want to play a fast, attacking game, but to win you need more than just a power, and more often than not you can win in many other ways, hence why the last 10 years the top 4 world stage players all had different styles that helped them get to the top of the game.

To help you decide, consider the reasons you lose rallies sometimes: Is it because you loose control and make unforced errors? Are your serves effective? Is your all round game consistent enough to play all around the court?

Secondly, to what level of Tennis do you want to play?

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced
  • Professional

Everyone always would love to be a professional, but sometimes getting a tennis racket at that level is firstly way more money than you need to spend, and secondly can actually mean you end up with an unforgiving racket because you’re not as accurate as the professionals. You’ll want to make sure the racket has a large sweet spot for hitting it as a beginner.

Based upon the answers to the above questions you can then work out what type of racket to choose.

For the intermediate to advanced level players there are also more technical features of a tennis racket you’ll want to pay attention to. Below we’ve ordered by their importance.

What is the best tennis racket weight?

Whilst most tennis pros tend to play with heavy weight rackets (300 grams and above) this doesn’t necessarily mean they will benefit every player. In theory, heavier rackets will offer greater power and control, however, there are other factors to consider:

Heavier rackets require greater strength and technique to use effectively. Players lacking strength and correct technique may find that a heavy racket will cause fatigue or even injury due to the higher forces travelling through the wrist, arm and shoulder. Heavy rackets will also be more difficult to manoeuvre quickly during faster play.

On the opposite end of the spectrum are lightweight rackets, which we would classify as any racket under 275 grams. These rackets are popular with beginners, juniors progressing to adult rackets, or players lacking physical strength, as they are easy to swing and manoeuvre. Advanced players are typically advised to avoid lightweight rackets as the ability to swing quicker can negatively affect control.

Finally we come to the mid-weight rackets (275-295 grams), which are mostly suited to the average level club player. These rackets compliment a wide range of abilities and play styles and offer a nice balance between power, control and manoeuvrability.

Tennis Racket Balance

What is the best tennis racket head size?

Larger racket head sizes (over 100sq in) are more forgiving on shots not hit in the middle of the strings, and offer greater power. They are suited to beginners or players struggling to hit with consistent power. The drawbacks of these larger head sizes are less manoeuvrability and less control. It also suits a player who's typically physically smaller size or weaker (Younger Players, Women or Elderly)

Smaller racket head sizes (100sq in and below) are more suited to experienced or advanced players who hit consistently well, with faster, powerful swings and require greater control. Although less powerful than larger head sizes, this is a benefit for advanced players already hitting with power as they can swing with greater freedom and control.

Tennis Racket Head Size Chart

Specification

Mid

Mid-Plus

Oversized

Inches

85-97

98-104

105+

Centimetres

548-626

632-671

677+

Power

Low

Medium

High

Control

Medium 

Medium

Medium

Sweet Spot

High

Medium

Low

Tennis Racket Head Sizes Range
Tennis Racket Balance

What is the best balance for a tennis racket?

  • Balance determines how the weight is distributed in a racket. As with the other categories, balance preference is often dependent on ability. Balance points are mainly displayed in millimetres and signifies the point on the racket where the weight is evenly distributed. The higher the number, the more weight is distributed at the top of the racket.
  • Typically, beginners lack power on their shots and so many beginner orientated rackets have a head heavy balance. A head heavy balance will aid power generation and allow new or social players to develop their stroke. A head heavy balance point will sit around 340mm and above, with anything below 340mm classed as head light.
  • Pros and advanced players will usually favour a very head light balance below 320mm. This is not advisable for the average player as the lack of weight in the top end of the racket makes it more difficult to generate power. A head light balance will make the racket easier to manoeuvre, aiding swing speed for greater spin generation.
  • Most players will favour a racket with a balance point between 320 and 340mm. Players seeking more manoeuvrability, and control will aim more towards 320 and those preferencing power will be suited to a balance point closer to 340mm.

What is the best tennis racket grip size?

Finding the right tennis racket grip size for you is important as playing consistently with a grip that is too small or too big can lead to injury. Grip size is dependent on hand size and can be found by placing a ruler in the middle of the hand, from the bottom of the horizontal crease in the palm, and measuring (in inches) in a straight line to the top of the index finger (as pictured).

To check if your current grip is the correct size then hold your racket in your regular forehand grip. A correct fitting grip should leave a space between the palm and longest finger which perfectly fits a finger from your other hand. If there is more space then a smaller grip is required. If it is difficult to fit a finger within the gap then a larger grip size is required, although this can also be done by building up the grip with an overgrip.

uropean Grip Sizes

US Grip sizes (inches)

0 (L0 or G0)

4 inches

1 (L1 or G1)

4 1/8 inches

2 (L2 or G2)

4 1/4 inches

3 (L3 or G3)

4 3/8 inches

4 (L4 or G4)

4 1/2 inches

5 (L5 or G5)

4 5/8 inches

Tennis Racket Grip Sizes

How does the Stringing Pattern affect buying the right racket?

Well firstly need to explain what the numbers mean. So if you see for example 16/19 this meaning 16 main strings go vertically down the racket and 19 horizontally.

There’s a simple way to understand stringing patterns:

  • Less Strings = More Power & Spin
  • More Strings = More Control & Less Spin

The 16/19 cross is the standard most common stringing pattern, whilst a stringing pattern like 16/18 will deliver more power and spin. Whilst something like 18 mains and 20 cross will lead to more control.

So what do you choose for yourself? Typically we’d suggest unless you have high end professional experience or someone who can recommend to you specific advice a 16/19 string pattern will suit more players. If you love big spin go for something like 16/19 or even 16/18, but if you love power play go for a pattern like 18/20.

Summary Conclusion

Hopefully this article has been of help and you now feel better equipped to choose a racket that is right for you. If you have any further queries then please contact us.