I want to pick up tennis this year, so I am in the market for a good tennis racket.
To help others, I compiled a short list of tennis racket brands and a guide on buying a good racket.
The list, which is not comprehensive, provides some of the top tennis racket name brands on the market I came across.
- Borris Becker
Helpful information about tennis rackets
The three main kinds of rackets include control, tweener and power rackets.
Power rackets are the lightest and most forgiving, and are therefore ideal beginner rackets.
Tweeners, like the name implies, are racket for intermediate players and younger people looking to move up to adult sized rackets.
Control rackets are the heaviest rackets, weighting eleven ounces or more and are used by the most advanced players.
The next decision to make is regarding head size.
A racket with a bigger head size is often more forgiving, as it covers more area, and may be chosen for beginners and players with that preference.
A smaller head provides greater accuracy but possibly less power.
Grip size is measured by the distance between the middle of the player’s palm to the tip of the middle finger when the hand is held flat and is another important aspect of choosing a well-fitting, appropriate racket.
Most adults are between 4 1/8″ and 4 5/8″ and anyone in between sizes should round down and choose the racket with a smaller grip size.
Applying an over grip on a smaller handle is best practice, rather than having a handle that is slightly too large.
The balance of the racket will affect stability, and there are both “head light” and “head heavy” options to choose for rackets.
Think opposite day on this one; lighter framed folks often favor head heavy rackets, while more powerful frames tend to enjoy the feel of head light rackets.
This is because lighter people need added weight for power while heavier people can use the added agility of a head light racket.
Power, accuracy, and strings
Depending on how densely the strings on a racket are woven together, power and accuracy are affected.
Having an “open” pattern creates more bounce, spin and power, whereas a “closed,” more dense pattern provides for greater control. Open patterns are recommended for beginner players.
“Flex” refers to a racket’s stiffness. Flex is rated on a scale of 0-100 with most rackets falling somewhere between 40 and 80.
A more flexible rackets allows more of the impact to be absorbed when the ball makes contact, so it is often easier for newbies to be more successful with a fairly flexible racket.
The beams connect the handle to the head on every racket, and the size of the beams is know as the beam width.
A thinner beam provides the player with more control, while a wider beam provides more power. This is a personal choice, and a width somewhere in the middle is often preferred by everyday, casual players.
Cross section refers to the width between the beams. Stiffness and power are both affected, as the width increases the racket becomes less flexible and more powerful. A beginner is most often given a racket with a smaller cross section.
Choosing a racket is about choosing between various co-factors of power and control.
While the beginner recommendations may work best in some cases, understand that each of the components presented are individual-specific and that the only way to find the perfect racket is to try many different combinations.
Remember, trying out a few rackets can be helpful throughout this process, as it can be hard to make educated choices otherwise.
Find a store where the staff seem educated and informed about tennis and racket purchase and ask if you can try out a few different rackets before you make too many final decisions.