Looking to purchase a tennis racquet and unsure what factors to consider before buying one? Here’s our guide about tennis racquets and what you need to consider before buying a tennis racquet.
Buying the Right Tennis Racquet
It does not matter if you are starting out in tennis or are a seasoned professional, buying the right tennis racquet will make a huge improvement to your game. All tennis racquets are different and have benefits and negatives. If you want to play tennis regularly, then you should consider researching the best tennis racket to suit your needs, needless to say it’s the most important piece of tennis equipment.
The last 20 years has seen a number of changes in tennis racquets, the size of the head is now larger than it was before and the frame, lighter. Due to the need for a perfect racquet, there are over two thousand different types of tennis racquet available.
When you first start playing tennis, it’s important that you have a good tennis racquet that will help you learn the different techniques of tennis. Starting out with a beginner tennis racquet will serve you better than an advanced racquet that you will struggle with. You can always progress to a different tennis racquet later in your game.
When you have the correct racquet for your abilities, you will experience more success getting the balls over the net. Furthermore, you will enjoy the game better and want to practise more. This will make your playing improve faster.
Factors to Consider while Buying a New Tennis Racquet
When buying your first tennis racquet you should consider these factors: Head, Beam, Strings, Bumper guard, Grommets, Shaft, Throat, Handle, Grip, Butt and Butt Cap.
A racquet’s head size is important because this is where the power comes from.
A tennis racquet that has a larger head size will create more power when hitting the ball, a smaller head size will be weaker. Furthermore, a larger head has a wider hitting surface and allows for less than perfect shots. Currently, the size range of racquet varies from 93 to 135 square inches.
The most popular tennis racquet are often between 97 to 100 square inches. When you get more proficient at tennis, you can choose a smaller head size racquet as they give better control over the shot, but there is more chance of mistakes.
Different beam widths give more or less power over your hit.
If the beam is too thin and flexible it will give a less stable hit that is not as comfortable on contact. However, the width of the beam depends on the person since the target is to hit on the strings and not the frame.
The most noticeable difference is how the racquet feels in your hands with a thinner or thicker beam. With a thicker beam you would get a more stable and muted shot, whereas the thinner beam would be the opposite. You can also change the stability of the tennis racquet with lead tape.
Many people do not give much thought to strings and spend their time researching a racquet and not looking into the types of string that they should buy.
Don’t assume that all strings are the same because they are not, each string has been strung with a different tension and not suitable for every player. Newcomers to tennis or even those who have played tennis for years will have different requirements and preferences when buying a tennis racquet.
There are hundreds of strings to choose from, and it can get confusing if you don’t know what you are looking for.
Different Materials for Tennis Strings Include:
- natural gut,
- kevlars and
As a general rule of thumb; multi-filament are more playable, whereas poly strings tend to last longer. Therefore, there is a trend for mixing strings on the vertical and horizontal lines of the racquet. The most favoured and better string on the market is natural gut, made from beef intestines.
Bumper Guard and Grommets
The bumper guard and grommet strip help to protect the tennis racquet strings and the frame from impact when dropped on the ground. However, the bumper guard and grommet strip also need to be replaced occasionally as they do not last forever.
The more your racquet is strung, the more grommet strips you will need, especially when using polyester strings. Most players replace their strings and grips often but, forget about the bumpers and grommets.
You will know when to replace the bumpers and grommets by looking at the racquets head. If the racquets head looks exposed, then you need to get new bumpers. Also, your strings may break close to the frame or grommets. It is not expensive to replace the bumper or grommet and you might want to do them at the same time as restringing.
The Shaft and Throat
The shaft is the place where the two curves of the throat come nearest together extending down the handle. There are different types of shaft available on the market.
If you choose a flexible shaft, it will improve shock vibrations; a harder shaft delivers a stronger throw as it holds the strings and head in place better.
It has become the norm to have an open throat design for tennis racquets. In fact, the open throat design helps to stabilise the racquets head compared with a straighter shaft design.
The Handle and Grip
Choosing the right grip and handle is not as complex as choosing the strings or tension, but it is important.
Factors like whether you require a replacement grip or overgrip are things to consider. A replacement grip is easy to place over the handle and has a sticky back that provides a good amount of padding. An overgrip does not have a sticky back and is thinner. Overgrips offer extra grip when playing; they absorb sweat quicker; they have a better surface for gripping and they are less expensive.
When it comes to the textured grip some players prefer a textured feel. Some grips will have a contour, cut out trough or raised ridges which help the player to hold the racquets better and feel more comfortable. For tennis players who are in a hot environment, a grip that provides higher sweat absorption is necessary.
Therefore, the overgrip is better as it is easier to hold when sweating. For players that suffer elbow pain, they should be looking for a grip with extra padding; preferably a replacement and overgrip would be best.
The Butt And Butt Cap
The importance of the butt cap is that it gives extra support for your hand and wrist. With a great impact sport like tennis, the effects on your hands and wrist cannot be underestimated. It is crucial that you care for your wrist and hand or you might have to give up a sport that you love.
Therefore, choosing the right weighted butt and butt cap is crucial. The butt cap also provides a flair at the end of the tennis racquets that makes it easier to grip. Without the butt cap, the player could drop the racquets on the ground. It helps to hold weights inside the racquets and prevents dirt from getting inside.
In short, it is not as simple as buying any old racquets and there are lots of things to consider before investing in a tennis racquets.
Hopefully, the above information gives you a starting point, and you have a better idea of what you are looking for now. Playing tennis is fun and a great way to keep fit, having the right tennis racquets will really make a difference.