Posted on March 24 2020
How to pick the right Tennis racket for your game? A comprehensive guide!
Buying a new tennis racket can be a daunting task with so many options out there! Choosing which Tennis racket is right for you is a personal choice. We aim to give you the information that will help you make the best choice!
All Things Tennis was setup by Ross Batten a former professional LTA coach, We want to see people using the right racket for them! This is why we work with coaches all across the UK to get the right rackets for their clients, as a helping hand for you we’ve produced this complete guide to everything you need to now before you buying yourself a new tennis racket.We go into great detail for you and cover everything you should to take into account when making that choice!
What benefits do you want from your new Racket?
There are huge amount of rackets out there, the real question you should be asking yourself is what do you want your new racket to offer you?
This is where we move away from cosmetics and player endorsements but look closely at what different rackets offer to the player!
HEAD Size and the thickness of the beam
Rackets are made in different sizes and thickness for a reason, players are different, and need different benefits from their racket. If for example you're naturally a powerful player from your physique, you should be looking for a control orientated racket which are normally associated with smaller headsizes and thinner beams.However if you are looking to add some power to your game you should look for a racket with a thicker beam and a larger headsize for more forgiving power
1st Rule of Thumb -
the thicker the beam on a racket then the more power it will give you.
How does your swing style affect which racket you should choose
We should take into account more than someones physical stature when accounting for what type of racket they should choose. A hugely important factor is a persons swing style. In simple terms a swing can be broken down into a fast, average or slow speed. Modern topspin players will usually have faster swings and traditional flatter hitters will have average swing speeds while, the more mature players tend to utilize slow swing speeds. Ask your coach for advice on what category you fit into.
This will typically range between 90-110 square inches.
Larger headsizes with thicker beams generate more power and are more forgiving but will sacrifice control for payers with fast swings
Smaller head sizes offer more control and are usually associated with thinner beams. If you are looking for added control try out a racket with these charcterisitcs.
If you're a confident player with a fast swing but needing a little bit more power from your racket to finish points off, potentially increase the headsize of your racket (while keeping the headsize under 100 inches) and look for a racket with a slightly thicker beam
2nd Rule of Thumb -
If you have a faster powerful swing look for thin beamed control rackets with smaller headsizes,
average swing speeds could look for smaller headsized rackets (under 100 inches) with thicker beams
Slow swing speeds will benefit from larger headsizes and thicker beamed rackets
What is your style of play
Are you aggressive or defensive? Most players are one or the other which will have an effect on the type of racket you should choose. If you are an aggressive player then you will probably want to try and hit the ball harder which means a more powerful racket might be right for you. If you are a defensive player than a lot of the time you will want to use the pace of the ball that your opponent has hit at you, in which case a narrower framed racket might be the one for you. Obviously you should take into your body shape and your swing speed here.
Choosing the right weight and balance for your new racket
Weight: Having a heavier racket enables the racket to feel more stable, which means the racket will twist less and offer more control and power. However make sure you find a weight you are comfortable swinging without affecting your swing speed or style.Playing with a racket that is to heavy for you will affect your ability to generate good racket head speed and will be harder to play a defensive shot with when your are short on time!
3rd Rule of Thumb -
Look for rackets weighing 300 grams plus if you are an advanced player with a fast long swing, if you fall
Look for rackets weighing 270- 300 grams if you are an intermediate level player developing a long fast swing or developing physically
Look for rackets 240-270 grams if you have shorter slower swings and need lots of maunverability from your racket. Also look for rackets within this weight range with larger heads and thick beams. If you are a junior looking for your first adult racket, this weight range is also suitable but pick rackets with headsizes under 100 inches so that you can develop your swing with the racket!
Balance points on a Racket:
Rackets that are head light are great for developing Topspin as the head comes through fast when swinging, if you are moving up to a heavier racket choosing a head light balance will keep it manoeuvrable
Even balanced rackets are great for players that have flatter swing styles and for those not needing added manoeuvrability
Head heavy rackets are perfect for players with slower swings using a light powerful racket, as it keeps the racket stable on contact
Rackets are sold in a range of grip sizes from 1-5 and the only way to really work out what size you want is speaking to your coach or holding and playing with different grips sizes and then making a note of the one you like. You can always make a grip bigger using overgrips but you can't make it smaller
As a general guide choose -
Juniors - Grip size 0 or 1
Females - Grip size 2
Males Grip size 3