Selecting a Tennis Racquet
For a beginner it can seem daunting to choose a tennis racquet online. But with a little research and help from our tennis experts in India you can make the right choice that suits your style of game.
Here are some of the key considerations when selecting the right tennis racket:
The tennis racquet head size refers to the size of the actual hitting area within the tennis racquet frame. Tennis racquet head sizes are usually defined as follows:
|85-95 sq.cm||95-110 sq.in||110 -115 sq.cm||115-135 sq.cm|
The power a player generates from a tennis racquet goes hand in hand with the head size of the racquet. In other words, the larger the head size of a racquet, the more power the racquet can generate.
Beginners should select a racquet with oversize or super oversize head size because it provides a balance of power and control.
More experienced players and professional tennis players with greater power, precision and skill will usually opt for rackets with a smaller head size i.e. midplus or midsize.
The weight and balance of a racquet are the most important factors. These two components determine how the racquet feels in your hand, and more importantly, how the racquet feels when you swing it.
Tennis racquets come in a large range of different weights from 225g to 340g.
|Lighter racquets||Medium racquets||Heavy racquets|
|225g to 280g||280g to 300g||300g to 340g|
|Are generally more powerful and so suited to juniors moving to a full-sized racquet, beginners and ladies.||Offer a little less power but more control and are suited to intermediate players.||Offer much more control and are used by more advanced players.|
A Racquet balance is the weight distribution along the length of the racquet. There are three types of balance distributions used in tennis racquets:
|Head Heavy Racquet||Even Balance||Head Light|
|Will generate more power at the expense of maneuverability, so less experienced players should choose this type of racket as they are likely to have a shorter swing and less strength.||Racquets are for players with all round play who play from behind the court and also come close to the net.||Racquets are great for generating spin, maneuverability and net play, something a more experienced player will be looking for from their tennis racquet. Professionals and advanced level players prefer these kind of racquets.|
The traditional length of racquet is 27 inches, but you can get longer racquets of up to 29 inches. The longer the length of the racquet, the greater the leverage on a swing, therefore giving more power to a shot.
Various junior tennis racquet sizes are also available. The list below gives an indication of the appropriate junior tennis racket size only. The most appropriate size will also depend on factors such as the ability and strength of the junior.
|Age 12 & over||Age 10 to 11||Age 8 to 10||Age 6 to 8||Age 6 & under|
|over 5 ft 2 in||4 ft 8 in. to 5 ft 2 in||4 ft 4 in. to 4 ft 8 in||3 ft 11 in. to 4 ft 4 in||under 3 ft 11 in|
racquet (adult racket)
The thicker the beam, the more powerful the racquet will be. Most control racquets have beams between 18 and 21mm with most power rackets having beam widths of 25 to 28mm. Racquets with beam widths between 22 and 24mm provide a mixture of power and control.
A stringing pattern is the number of mains and number of crosses.
|Open string pattern||Dense or Closed string pattern|
|16 x 18 or 16 x 19||18 x 20|
An open string pattern will offer more speed and spin but the durability of string is less.
A dense string pattern will offer more control and will last longer.
Tennis racquet grip sizes/measurements available are shown below. The most common grip size is 4 3/8”.
|4 (1/8”)||4 (1/4")||4 (3/8”)||4 (1/2")||4 (5/8”)|
|Size 1 or 2||Size 2 or 3||Size 3 or 4|
It is important to choose the correct size grip when buying a tennis racquet in order to prevent strains and injuries and also so that the racquet feels comfortable to hold and play with.
If you are able to try out different racquet grip sizes then the easiest way to select the right size is to hold the racquet in your normal forehand grip. You should then be able to fit in a finger from your other hand which will touch both your palm and the tips of your fingers.
An alternative way to measure your grip size is to use a measuring ruler. Line up the ruler on your palm in line with the intersection of your thumb and fingers. The length from here to the top of your ring finger is roughly the right size.
Tennis string buying guide
The string tension affects a racquet's playing characteristics, such as the "feel" of the ball, control over the ball, as well as power. All racquets come with recommended string tensions, most of which lie between 50 to 70 pounds.
It is advised by many professional stringers to string your racquet with the lowest tension possible while still being able to maintain control of the ball.
- For beginners the racquet should have mid-range tension and adjust accordingly to meet their needs. The recommended tension is usually printed on the racquet.
- For experienced players the racquet is strung with high tension for better control.
Tighter strings mean more shot control and spin, so they are probably better if you’re trying to hit the ball harder and improve accuracy. Looser strings mean more power but less control.
Thinner strings offer improved playability while thicker strings offer enhanced durability. Tennis string gauges range from 15 (thickest) to 19 (thinnest), with half-gauges identified with an L (15L, 16L etc). A 15L string is thinner than a 15 gauge but thicker than a 16 gauge string. Thinner strings also provide more spin potential by allowing the strings to embed into the ball more.
List of all the types of tennis string gauge along with their measurements is given below:
|Gauge||Min (mm)||Max (mm)|
There are different types of tennis string:
- Natural Gut - As the name suggests, this is a natural product made from the gut of animals (mainly sheep). This type of string is still favored by the purists for its optimum mix of power, control and spin. It is, however, the most expensive and least durable of all the strings. It is also susceptible to extremes in temperature and is especially liable to break under damp or wet conditions.
- Synthetic Gut - These are an extension (and improvement) on nylon strings to compensate for the lack of durability from natural gut. The majority of factory strung rackets are strung with synthetic guts and are a good choice for most people. They give a good mixture of power and control with a “crisp feel and sound”. They do not offer much potential for spin, however, unless you choose a “textured or spin” type synthetic gut string.
- Multifilament - These are the best examples of using technology to replicate a product that has been successful over a period of time (natural gut). Thin strands are wound around (just like natural gut) to create different variations of spin, power, control and durability. Multifilamentstrings are a good choice for the majority of players as they offer the optimum mixture of playability and durability. They are not as durable as the polyesters but are definitely better on the arm.
- Polyesters - Polyester is a durable fiber with a thin coating, and is best for players who tend to break strings more frequently. This material is relatively firm and difficult to snap. Polyester generates more topspin than other strings because they don’t slide around during contact with the ball. Many professional players have a high preference for polyester strings because of its ability to generate huge amounts of topspin.
- Hybrid Combinations - The majority of people now use the polyesters as a hybrid by combining them with a synthetic gut or multifilament string. The general rule is to use the polyesters (harder string) on the mains and anything else on the crosses.
Tennis Shoe Buying Guide
The performance of a player on the court is significantly dependent on the shoe he or she uses.The design of tennis shoes is such that it abides by the game’s constant movements and rapid starts and stops. It needs to facilitate comfortable lateral movements which is not given with the regular running shoes.
The amount of choice available in market can get overwhelming if the player is not properly aware of how to choose the right shoe. There are many factors to consider before going about with the purchase. So, here are the list of few of them to make the process easier.
Not sure about the kind of tennis shoe you need? Your footwork, the way you walk and stand, the type of foot you have, all have an enormous effect on the way that shoes fit, feel and perform for you. Though every foot is different, there are some general types of classification of feet.
- Pronated : If you see a lot of wear on the inner side of the sole and around the ball of your foot, then you fall under Pronated foot category. Choose a shoe that has extra cushioning.
- Supinated : If you see a lot of wear along the outer side of the heel, then you are likely to have a Supinated foot. The shoes of players having a Supinated foot tend to wear faster than those with other types of foot. In that case, shoes with an extra durable sole would be the correct choice.
- Ideal : If your shoes seem to have an even wear all around then you fall under the rare category of Ideal types. Players with Ideal foot types can be flexible enough to opt for any kind of shoe as long as it is comfortable.
- Clay courts : offer a natural 'slide' as the player moves. So on a clay court, you can have slightly lighter lateral support, but the fine granules of dirt can be problematic to feet, so be sure that you choose a shoe with solid upper of leather or synthetic material.
- Grass courts : give players the most natural cushioning that allows you to forgo some cushioning in preference to more lateral support.
- Concrete : being the most challenging for player's feet, is the most common playing surface. The hard surface is challenging while cushioning is comfortable. Lateral support is important as player's stops and starts are quite sharp on the firm concrete surface.
- Heavily built : Tennis players who are taller and heavier would want to consider heavier, more stable shoes that provide the extra support you need.
- Moderately built : Players who are moderately built should consider a lightweight shoe that is more manageable over long periods of physical exertion.
Style of Play:
The style of tennis you play can also depict what tennis shoe is best suited for your needs. If you are a baseline player, a player who plays the back line of the court for most of the game, you will require a shoe with extra lateral support. If your play features the serve and volley with frequent changes to the net you should consider a tennis shoe with a toecap that gives extra protection to the front of your foot. This style of play is particularly tough on the toe and sole of the shoe, so consider an extra durable sole. However, it is important to remember that increased durability often means increased weight in the shoe, so make sure you consider after carefully evaluating your requirements before choosing a tennis shoe.
The materials used to develop the upper part of the tennis shoe varies and each of the materials benefits to players in a different way.
- Canvas : will remain the coolest and allows air to flow in and out of the shoe, but it offers very little support for lateral movements.
- Leather : is the most expensive. Provides the best support and keeps your feet dry in damp conditions.
- Vinyl : can provide support similar to that of leather. Helps in resisting moisture the best, but not easily breathable, hence may cause feet to overheat.
When Should You Replace Your Tennis Shoes?
The rule of thumb is that you should replace your tennis shoes after 500 miles of wear. But it is not practical to calculate whether you have managed to travel 500 miles or not. However, you can observe the signs of wear which can be seen when shoes are failing. There are chances of your slipping on the court and succumbing to an injury if you notice that the tread pattern on the sole has become less evident particularly if smooth spots are emerging.
While serving, many players drag the toe of their shoe forward and handle forehand groundstrokes which results in rapid wear of their tennis shoe. In that case, you will require replacing your shoes more frequently than once a year.
Tennis Ball Buying Guide
- Each brand of tennis ball makers produces three types of balls.
- Professional level, championship level, and recreational level.
- Professional level tennis balls are the highest quality balls, which are used in professional tournaments. Being the top quality balls, professional level tennis balls offer high performance and durability.
- Championship level tennis balls are a grade lower than the professional level tennis balls. They are meant for league matches or smaller tournaments.
- Recreational level tennis balls are lowest quality tennis balls, intended for practice use. They are not allowed to be used in league matches or professional matches.
- All the professional level and championship level tennis balls come in three variations.
|Extra duty||Regular duty||High altitude|
|Hard court balls||Clay or Indoor courts||Thin air or high altitude courts|
Most experts claim that once a can of balls is opened, they become unplayable in two weeks or less, without even hitting them.
Tennis Bag buying guide
Whether you are an occasional prayer or a professional player, possessing a tennis bag for all of your tennis gear (balls, grips, shoes, towels, snacks and drinks) is quite essential.
There are generally 5 types of tennis bags. Below is the description for each one of the type, which will help you in choosing th6e right tennis bag.
Backpack is an alternative to the traditional tennis bag that hangs from one shoulder. Backpacks are large enough to hold two tennis racquets along with couple of other sections for your tennis needs. To view some popular backpack bags, check out our Backpacks Page.
- 3 packs : If you are just a beginner or an occasional tennis player, who occasionally visits a nearby tennis court with a friend or just to have a feel of the game, then you might own one or two tennis racquets. In that case, a triple bag or a 3 pack (pro) would be just sufficient for you. In a 3-pack, you have one section for your 1 or 2 racquets and maybe a few other belongings like some snacks/drinks or strictly just three racquets. You’ll also usually find a smaller zipper section used for wallets, mobile, keys, etc. To view some popular triple bags, check out our 3-pack bags page.
- 6 packs : For a player who likes to carry more than two racquets as backups in case their strings break, 6 packs would be the right choice. A player, who is quite serious about his game, may find a 6 packs bag a convenient option. A 6 pack bag usually has 2 separate compartments for racquets, a section for snacks, an extra pair of shoes, extra pair of clothes, snacks, and few other belongings or strictly another three racquets.
- 12 packs : Finally, a player who is very committed to his game will need to carry 3+ racquets with them and are more than likely to pop strings on several of their racquets during the course of a couple of weeks. For such professional players, the 12-pack will be the appropriate choice. In a 12 pack bag, you find one section (approx 3-4 inches wide), big enough to hold 3-4 tennis racquets and another two sections big enough for everything else or simply 6-8 more tennis racquets. 12 packs also carry extra perks like backpack straps and separate zippers for your mobile, wallets, keys, etc making it very efficient for traveling to tournaments. If you think a 12-pack is what you need then check out our 12-pack page for some of the more popular styles.
Some tennis bags also come with other features like Thermal Guard Technology and Moisture protective sacks. Thermal Guard technology uses an insulating lining on the inner side of the tennis bag to protect your frame and strings from extreme weather conditions and moisture that can be harsh to the racquet. Moisture protective sacks are used to hold wet clothes and bags after a tough match and keep all of your other tennis gear dry.