Sep 11, 2016 • Michael Stevens

How to select a Tennis Racket

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Tennis looks fun but is tougher than it looks on TV. It’s a physically challenging sport for which you need to be fit to compete. But like all sports, tennis is good exercise for the whole body but can be tough on the arms if you don’t use the proper racquet. The racquet is your best friend and should fit the type of build you have. It’s one of the many deciding factors to winning a game. In other words, choose the tennis racquet that’s best for you.

For beginners, coaches and seasoned players can easily recommend what racquets would be best for them to use.

Sports companies have been selling lighter and tougher tennis racquets, continuously experimenting on better materials to make racquets perform better and last longer

Let’s start with the weight.

As mentioned, tennis can be tough on the arms especially if the chosen racquet is too heavy. Gender and age play a big factor in selecting the ideal racquets. It’s recommended for women and older players to find racquets that weigh between 250 and 270 grams. The ideal weight for most men would be between 285 to 315 grams.

This is just for starters as the more you play, the fitter you get and you’ll find yourself preferring heavier or lighter racquets. It’s also recommended for beginners to select racquets with a large head size to increase the margin of error in hitting that elusive ball.

Beginner Raquets

Beginners don’t need to splurge on a 200-dollar racquet they’ll use once a month. Good racquets can be bought for at least 100 bucks. These racquets should already be made of light materials such as graphite with the most basic features. Again, the more you play, the more you love the sport, you’ll eventually want the best which are priced above 150 dollars. There’s no room for used racquets from eBay unless it’s something that was used for a few times and/or by a tennis star which should be used only for display.

Grip Sizes

Not all hands are the same so grip sizes also need to be considered. The grip size relates to the thickness of the tennis racquet handle. For kids, the recommended size is grip size 1, 4 1/8 inches. For children or women with small hands, grip size 2 at 4 1/4 inches. For medium built men and women depending on their hand size grip size 3 at 4 3/8 inches would be okay. And finally, for large guys, grip size 4 at 4 ½ inches.

What about strings?

Your racquet will be used to hit a ball that has enough force to break a glass window so the racquet will take a lot of punishment especially on the strings. They can break easily depending on how grueling your games get. By the time you’re playing competitively, you’ll find yourself occasionally replacing them. The proper string materials matter for beginners because of the arm strain generated depending on how the strings bounce the ball to the other side of the court. It’s recommended for beginners and average players to alternate string materials. Polyester for the vertical strings (mains) and softer synthetic strings for the horizontal ones (crosses). Also, if you’re thoroughly invested in the sport, you’ll be re-stringing your racquet several times a year which is equal to the number of times you play in a week.

These are just recommendations but in the end, it will be just you. Grab a racquet, take a few air swings, make sure you can grip it tightly and comfortably making sure fingers and palm aren’t in contact. Take it to court and if it feels right, you have your racquet.