How to Choose the Best Tennis Racket
How do you choose the best tennis racket for you? What properties and features should the best tennis racket have to suit your needs? Read our guide and make an informed choice.
Regardless of whether you are a person who has been practicing sports for a long time, or one who is thinking of starting to practice it, you agree that tennis is a very enjoyable, rewarding and particularly healthy activity to practice outdoors.
But you cannot enjoy the game of tennis without a proper tennis racket. So how do you choose the best tennis racket?
Table of Contents
- 1 Why Choose the Best Tennis Racket?
- 2 How Do You Choose The Best Tennis Racket
- 3 Recommended Tennis Rackets
Why Choose the Best Tennis Racket?
Tennis can be very enjoyable, but when the tennis racket is not well made, it can easily become a source of frustration.
There is nothing more unpleasant than a racket that does not cope with the force of the ball hitting, or which the frame breaks in the middle of the game. That’s why you can’t choose any tennis racket, but only the best one.
How Do You Choose The Best Tennis Racket
If you have been playing tennis for several years, you are certainly familiar with some of the concepts that guide you in choosing the best tennis racket. For those who do not know these concepts, we recommend you to be well informed before making a choice.
A good tennis racket doesn’t cost much, and you won’t need to buy one every year. You will have to choose a tennis racket depending on how much you plan to use it, at what level you want to play your game, or who will use it: you or your child.
To provide you with all the necessary information, we have prepared a shopping guide that we encourage you to follow carefully.
In your choice, consider the following important issues:
The Type of Tennis Racket
There are three major types of tennis rackets, classified according to the level of performance they are intended for. These are:
They are intended to improve the quality of the game. Because they are used by beginners who must gradually acquire the necessary skills, these rackets have a larger surface area, to give players more chances to hit the ball. The hitting surface area is between the values 678-740 cm².
Those type of rackets are lightweight models, they are longer and the balance is evenly distributed.
They must be purchased by advanced users. They have the advantage of allowing more control and maneuverability. They are heavier and the hitting surface is slightly smaller, between 594-677 cm².
They can only be suited to be used by professional players with a rich gaming experience. That’s because they are the heaviest, and the hitting surface is 548-593 cm².
They also requires more maneuverability. The advantage is that they will propel the ball with more power.
Hitting Surface or Head Size
The hitting surface refers to the size of the mesh surface with which the ball is actually hit. As mentioned above there are several standard sizes: super-oversize, oversize, mid-plus and midsize.
Dimensions vary between 500 and 800 square cm, but the most popular models have dimensions between 600 and 700 square cm. The hitting surface will directly influence the quality of the game.
Normally the ball is thrown with power only if it reaches the center of the racket, but the best tennis rackets will throw the ball with the same power whether it reaches the center or not.
The larger the hit surface, the stronger the hit. However, a smaller hitting surface will guarantee you more control, which is why such rackets are recommended for professionals.
For children, rackets with a longer length are recommended, but with a smaller hitting surface to make them easier to handle.
The Length of the Tennis Racket
The length of the tennis racket influences the maneuverability, dynamics of the balance and the power to serve. For adults there are three standard dimensions in this regard: Standard, Extended, and Extra with the values 68.5, 69.2 cm and 69.8 cm respectively.
There are also longer lengths up to 71 cm, but they are only recommended for experienced players. As for lengths smaller than the Standard value, they are intended exclusively for children.
A longer racket length will make the maneuverability more difficult, but it will increase serving power. Also, the longer a racket, the easier it will be. Also, if you are thinking of buying a longer racket, you must know that you will not feel a big difference if you are an advanced player.
For beginners, however, rackets with longer lengths of Extra value are not recommended.
In the case of children, the choice will be made according to their height. The higher the child, the bigger the length.
According to the model child height – racket length, the most suitable dimensions are: 80cm – 43cm, 100cm – 48cm, 125cm – 58 cm, 140cm – 63.5cm, 145cm – 66 cm.
The size of the handle or grip matters directly related to comfort, ease and safety when handling. There are 5 standard sizes, expressed in L followed by a number (L1, L2 … L5). The most popular adult version is L3, the size that fits most and the smallest size for adults.
It is well known that the narrower the handle, the more safety you have in your hand. L1 and L2 are child size. The smallest size is 105 mm and the largest is 118 mm.
We cannot say that the best tennis racket is heavy or light, because both varieties have advantages and disadvantages. A lightweight tennis racket is associated with greater power and optimal maneuverability. The user will also be able to hit the ball faster, having a better balance.
Moreover, if you buy a lighter tennis racket, you can later adjust its weight by adding special accessories, which is not possible in the case of a heavier racket. However, the disadvantages should not be ignored.
A light tennis racket is even weaker and will transmit more vibration in the arm. It is recommended for beginner players and weighs under 280 grams.
A heavier racket is noted for stability and control. It is more resistant to deformation and dampens shocks so it’s not transmitted to the arm. It provides more power in shots, which is why it is recommended for professionals. It has a weight of over 300 grams.
The balance refers to the mode of distribution of the weight in the racket. There are rackets with more tail or head weight, but also tennis rackets with a uniform distribution of weight.
The tail balance is present in the classic rackets and is a type of balance preferred by professionals. It is easy to handle, but lacks stability. These rackets are recommended for players with a strong arm, and favors a long and wide SWING, which will result in maximum speed. The balance in this case has values between 310 and 325 mm.
Rackets with head balance are more modern, and are also easy to handle, favoring a short SWING. They are a good choice for close to ground shots where the ball must be lifted and propelled. However, they are less resistant. They have a balance between 330 and 355 mm.
The best tennis racket for beginners is one with a balance of 5/8.
The material will directly influence the efficiency, weight, endurance and price of the tennis racket. In recent years, manufacturers have been very concerned about finding the perfect material, which is why several unique formulas of materials as well as innovative combinations have emerged.
The most common material is aluminum, but it is not the best, being very sensitive to deformations. Special materials are intended for advanced and professional players, and if you feel that you are progressing at an accelerated pace, we recommend that you buy a racket from a special material from now on.
The best materials are: graphite, carbon, titanium, basalt, Liquidmetal, or GT. The more special the material, the higher the price of the racket.
It refers to the arrangement of the strings in the frame. There are thus two types of rackets, with open or dense connection, varying depending on the density and tension of the strings.
An open connection means that there are fewer strings and they are not very tense. They are preferred by players because they provide the spin effect, much sought after, by propelling the ball a little later.
The big disadvantage is the low durability. Being less stressed, the impact with the ball and the greater frictional force will damage them. Besides the fact that they will reposition more often, they will break even easier.
A racket with a dense connection on the other hand will have more strings, be more durable and will reject the ball faster. It is a connection that provides control and speed, but the spin effect will be much diminished.
The connection or string pattern can have the following values: open (16/18), medium (16/19) or dense (18/20).
The frame can be rigid or flexible. It is considered that a more flexible frame will help a wider spin effect and are recommended for beginners or people who have problems with the shoulder, elbow or wrist, also having the ability to cushion shocks better.
A stiffer frame will give you a bit more control, but it doesn’t absorb the shocks, so the game will be more uncomfortable for the arm.
Recommended Tennis Rackets
Taking into account the above advice, analyzing the available offer and buyer feedback, we can recommend below a few models of tennis rackets that offer excellent value for money.
- Designed for recreational players and those who are new to the game
- Great accuracy and shot control thanks to a mid-plus (660cm2) head
- Lightweight (9.5oz) frame
- Aluminium frame tennis racket.
- Lightweight design.
- The Novak tennis racket from HEAD is perfect for kids. Sizes vary by age.
- The maria tennis racket is ideal for junior players who are looking to improve quickly
- The aluminium construction offers power and durability whilst also being visually strong
- This racket also comes with a headcover and shoulder strap
Last update on 2019-10-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API