A frequent mistake people make when picking a tennis racquet is to purchase whatever their favourite player is using, rather than looking at what will actually suit their particular style of play. We are all individuals, so once you select a tennis racquet it is important to select one you like the feel of. Whether or not a racquet works for you may depend on what kind of player you are, what you want to do and what you need to achieve.
Try to choose a racquet that feels comfortable, because you’re feeling confident and comfortable you are going to play better. The first test is in your hand — if a racquet feels comfortable once you hold it, that is a fantastic start. Then if you are able to give the racquet a good hit in the tennis store, that will determine if you like the racquet or not.
Five things to consider when choosing a tennis racquet
The weight of the racquet you should use depends upon your strength and the way you swing. A lighter racquet is easy to manoeuvre and swing, and gets the balance of weight in the mind — so when you hit the ball, the head drops and that is where the weight comes into play. A heavier racquet has more weight in the handle than the hand, and overall is more solid for those tougher, faster balls that come towards you.
- Head size
A smaller head size provides you more control, while a bigger head size provides you a larger sweet spot (the place where the strings produce the maximum power for the least amount of effort), so the kind of player you are will determine what size you need to try.
Narrow-bodied racquets offer you more control, and broader racquets offer you more energy, so again, your swing style will determine which is best for you.
- String tension
Strings are extremely important — they are what we consider the engine of the racquet. They are what give you control and power based on the tension. The tighter the strings the more control you have, the looser the strings the more power. For those who have a very big swing you need tighter strings which will provide you more control, if you’ve got a slower swing you need to have looser strings for more power. In the event that you break or damage your strings, there are a number of places that specialise in racquet restring.
The incorrect grip size can lead to tennis elbow, and a worn-out grip will cause you to grip the racquet too hard and too firm and stiffen up your arm. If you hold the racquet in your hand, you should have about a finger’s width space between the tips of your fingers and the base of your hand.
Choosing racquets for Children
When you decide on a racquet for a kid, you need to be very careful not to select something which could injure them. Adult racquets are usually way too heavy for children. There are smaller racquets in various lengths and weights, so things such as the child’s height and how powerful they are will determine the racquet that’s ideal for them.