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Quick Guide To Racquet Choice

  • In a nutshell, you must find a frame with the perfect combination (for you) of the two major factors: power and control.
  • Your first step is to analyse yourself in three ways: skill level (beginner, intermediate, advanced); body strength; and type of swing. (Consider all three, because for example a strong person who is a beginner may not need a true beginner’s racquet, which is designed to add power.)
  • Check this useful table for the frame and stringing attributes best suited to your swing and level of play.


Then see our Star Rating system below, which will help refine your choice even further.


     

 

Factors To Consider When Choosing Your Racquet
 

1.     Specialist Advice

Our wide range of racquets and accessories is selected from the world’s best brands and offers the most up-to-date technology on the market.  Whatever your proficiency level and budget, you’ll have quality products to choose from.  Our well-trained staff undergo regular specialist courses and are able to advise on the latest game-improvement advances and, most importantly, suit the right racquet to the particular player.  We also provide excellent after-sales service, a restringing service and a wide choice of accessories and apparel.

2.     Head Size

Oversize racquets are ideal for beginners as the larger sweet spot means fewer miss-hits.  Plus the player can transfer more power to a shot.  Midsize and midplus racquets are used by more skilled players.  A smaller head provides more manoeuvrability and stability, but the player must generate his own power.

3.     Racquet Materials and Weight

Aluminium and titanium are generally found in beginners’ racquets.  These are more durable than graphite racquets and, because of their greater weight, they provide plenty of power. Composite racquet frames consist mainly of fibreglass and are more suitable for intermediate players who need a good balance between power and control.  Some graphite is added to key flex areas in the head of a composite racquet to enhance stability and control on contact with the ball.  Graphite racquets are ideal for advanced players as this material provides the stiffness that produces better control.  In addition, dampening features are added to graphite racquets to ensure that feel is not compromised.  Although graphite is lighter than aluminium or titanium, it nevertheless produces plenty of power. 

4.     Balance: Head-heavy or Head-light

Apart from the style of your swing, consider whether you prefer to play from the baseline (where a head-heavy racquet is better) or whether you play up at the net and also volley often (requiring a head-light racquet).

5.     Beam Width

This is the width of the racquet head as viewed from the side.  A wider beam gives a shot more power as it enhances the trampoline effect of the strings, but it does reduce the player’s control over the ball.

6.     String Tension

The strings of pre-strung racquets are at mid-tension range, but can be adjusted.  Tighter strings suit advanced players, as they provide more shot control and spin.  Looser strings give more power and less control.  Thinner strings produce better control and feel, thicker strings generate more power.  Restring your racquet regularly, at least as many times in a year as you play in a week.  We can advise you on the right choice, from our wide range of advanced strings.  We offer a same-day restringing service, free of charge if strings are bought in-store.

7.     Grip

Adult grip sizes vary from 4–4?.  To test whether your grip size is correct: hold the racquet in your hitting hand and slide the index finger of the other hand in between the tips of the fingers and the base of the palm.  If there isn’t enough room for your index finger, the grip size is too small.  If there is a lot of extra room, the grip size is too large.  Too small or too large a gap can cause wrist or arm injuries. You can alter the grip with an overgrip or a replacement grip.
 

Essential Tennis Racquet Care Tips

  • Do not expose the racquet to extreme heat or cold, e.g. by leaving it in your car.  The temperature inside a car on a hot day can soften the resins of the frame and the string tension will then pull it out of shape.  Also remember to keep the racquet out of the sun at the courts when not playing.
  • Don’t abuse the racquet by throwing it, slamming it down or sitting on it.
  • Protect your racquet with a proper zip-up cover or carry bag.
  • Avoid scraping the frame when picking up balls on court.
  • Apply protective tape over spots that might be damaged when reaching for low balls.
  • Replace worn-out, slippery grips with new grips or add overgrips.  A racquet flying out of the hand could break on landing, or could even injure another player.
  • String only within the recommended tension, as too-tight strings can break or damage the frame.
  • If a string breaks, do not play with the racquet and try to get it restrung within 24 hours as the differential tension could bend, crack or break the frame.
  • Ask your stringer to replace broken grommets or a damaged head guard.

 

After following these expert guidelines, have a look at Tennis Apparel and Accessories to improve your game and your level of comfort.


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