Understand the specific qualities of a tennis racket
Step 1: Keep in mind that a larger head will transfer more power to the ball in the stroke. The larger the head, the more power you will hit the ball, as long as the other factors remain constant (racket length, swing, etc.). This feature is one of the most important when choosing a racquet, since, normally, more power means less control. Do you often hit the ball too hard or, on the other hand, do you need extra power without disturbing your swing? Check the size of the head of your current racket and make adjustments according to your needs.
- Larger heads typically measure between 684 and 761 square squares, but you can find racquets designed to offer maximum power with heads ranging from 774 to 839 square centimeters (120 to 130 square inches) even.
- The smaller rackets, designed to gain control, usually have heads between 548 and 606 cm squared (between 85 and 94 square inches).
- For beginners, it is best to choose a racquet whose head measures 645 cm square (100 square inches) minimum.
Step 2: Choose a heavy head racket to gain power and stability. Heavy-duty rackets are best for beginners and to play near the bottom line, and are often found among models designed to gain power. Their weight is usually concentrated slightly closer to the upper end than the base, reason why these rackets can be somewhat less manageable. Intermediate and advanced players often prefer more balanced rackets with light heads.
- If you’re not sure which racquet to choose or your playing style is varied, opt for a balanced racquet with evenly distributed weight.
Step 3: Note the string pattern. The racket itself is not the only factor that will affect your game. The way the strings are aligned, with a greater (less dense) or smaller (denser) separation, will also affect your power, your control and the effect of the blow:
- The open string offers more effect, which means you can hit the ball harder from above. This type of stringing, however, favors rope breakage.
- The closed or dense string provides more control and precision in the stroke and is more suitable for beginners.
Step 4: Use flexible rackets to gain power if you do not mind losing control. The flexibility of a racquet is evaluated in a score from 0 to 100, with 100 being the most rigid option available. Most of the rackets have a hardness of between 45 and 75 within this scale:
- The lower numbers indicate more control and effect, less power and a more comfortable feeling.
- The higher numbers indicate more power, but also more vibration in the racquet. Some beginners feel as if they have more control with these rackets because the lack of flexibility makes them more natural in handling.
Read also: How to choose a tennis racket
Step 5: Measure the width of the neck of the racket, the triangle under the head, to estimate its power approximately. The wider the neck, the more power the racquet will offer, which makes sense, since the wide necks are needed to balance the larger rackets, but even racquets designed to offer control can be found with collars of different widths that will allow More or less force in the blow to the ball.
- For beginners, a good starting width will be between 23 and 27 millimeters.
- You can always increase the size of the handle (or grip), but reduce it will be more complicated. Bet on a smaller size than you think you need if you have doubts between two measures.
- You can use shock absorbers to absorb vibration and reduce the impact on the wrist and elbow.
- Many rackets are recommended depending on the speed of the swing (swinging movement when hitting the ball), so it is important that you evaluate your swing before choosing a model. In theory, beginners and people with less speed and physical power tend to fit with a slower and shorter swing profile, so they need rackets that offer more power in the hit (basically more rebound). Likewise, stronger players tend to have a long and fast swing and, therefore, need racquets that offer them more control (with less power at the stroke and less rebound effect).
- You can opt for natural cords made from cow casings (instead of using synthetic cords) if you need extra cushioning on the elbow and shoulder.