Choosing the right tennis racket shouldn’t be complicated. Yet it often is. With so many options, it can be difficult to know where to start. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the key factors to consider when choosing a tennis racket, how they apply to your playing style, and where to find the specifications of the racket itself.
Racket head size
Racket head size is measured in square inches and is usually between 85 and 135 square inches. The larger head size will have a more visible sweet spot, making it easier for beginners and intermediate players to hit the ball with more power and consistency. However, advanced players they may prefer a smaller head size for greater control and precision. Oversized rackets have head sizes greater than 105 square inches.
Racket head size is usually displayed on the frame of the racket near the throat.
The weight of a tennis racket is usually measured in ounces. The average weight of a tennis racket is around 10.5 ounces. A lighter racket that weighs less than 10 ounces is easier to maneuver, making it ideal for beginners and players with slower swing speeds. Heavier rackets provide more power and stability, which can benefit advanced players with faster swing speeds. However, a heavier racket can cause fatigue or injury if used incorrectly. Please note that the number displayed on the racquets does not include the weight of the strings, usually around 0.5oz.
The weight of a tennis racket is usually displayed on the frame near the handle.
The length of a tennis racket is measured in inches and is usually between 27 and 29 inches. A longer racket gives you more reach and leverage, making it easier to hit ground shots with more power and spin. However, a longer racket can also be more difficult to control, making it difficult for beginners and intermediate players. Shots such as volleys that are taken close to the body can also be more difficult with a longer racket.
Not all tennis rackets have a specific length. When shown, it is likely near the rocket’s throat.
The grip size of a tennis racket is usually measured in inches and should be selected based on the size of your hand. You can determine the appropriate grip size by measuring the distance between the tip of your ring finger and the base of your palm. Rackets are typically available in grip sizes from 4-5/8 to 4-1/8 inches.
The grip size of a tennis racket is usually displayed on the end of the handle or on the frame.
The frame stiffness of a tennis racket is usually displayed on the frame near the throat. Racket stiffness measures how much the racket flexes when making a stroke and is rated using the RA scale, which typically ranges from 55-75 RA. A stiffer frame will give you more power and stability, while a more flexible frame can give you more control and feel, making it ideal for players who prefer to hit with more precision.
While there are different approaches to what an “RA” rating means, the “Rocket Analysis” rating makes the most sense.
From a balance standpoint, a tennis racket can be head-heavy, evenly balanced, or handle-heavy. The large head racket provides more power and stability, while the evenly balanced racket provides a good balance of power and control. Heavy-handled rackets tend to be on the heavier end of the spectrum, providing more control and maneuverability to stronger players.
An evenly balanced 686 mm (27 in) long tennis racket would have a balance number around the center point of 343 mm. Any balance above 343 could be considered heavy and anything below would be light. The balance of a tennis racket is usually displayed on the frame as a three-digit number representing the center of gravity.
The swing weight of a tennis racket is typically not displayed on the racket, making it less tangible than many other easy-to-understand specs. It simply refers to the effort required to swing the racket. Heavier swing weight can provide more power and stability, while lower swing weight provides more control and maneuverability.
The swing weight of a tennis racket is a calculated unitless number that is typically between 200 and 400. If you are interested in how manufacturers determine swing weight, have a look here video Artengo.
String tension is measured in pounds and refers to the amount of tension applied to the strings during stringing. Higher string tension provides more control and precision, while lower string tension provides more power and a larger sweet spot. While you should choose a string string based on your playing style, staying in the middle of the range is a safe option for beginners and intermediate players.
The string tension of a tennis racket is usually visible near the throat.
So you got it.
When choosing a tennis racket, consider racket head size, weight, length, grip size, frame stiffness, balance, and string tension. Each of these factors can significantly affect your game and should be chosen based on your skill level, playstyle and personal preference. Knowing these factors, you can make an informed decision and choose a tennis racket that will help you take your game to the next level.
Image source: DoltTennis on Flickr