Australia has produced its fair share of world-class tennis players. Legends Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall, and Yvonne Goolagong have thrilled crowds at the Australian Open, one of the four major professional tournaments that comprise the Grand Slam. The fact that Australians love their tennis is evident in the bustling sales of tennis-related sports equipment, especially tennis racquets. Those who want to pick up the popular sport of tennis can do so by buying a durable, yet inexpensive, used racquet on one of the leading ecommerce sites, eBay. First, tennis players, or those interested in learning tennis, should learn about the three major tennis racquet categories, the features to consider before buying a racquet, and good sources for finding used tennis racquets.
Tennis Racquet Categories
The first step in the used tennis racquet buying process is to decide upon which of the three primary tennis racquet categories match your buying criteria. Experienced tennis players typically know in which category to search for tennis racquets, but first time or relatively inexperienced tennis players most likely do not understand the description of each tennis racquet category. The following chart clarifies each of the three tennis racquet categories.
Designed for shorter, slower swings and players who want more power
Balanced from slightly head-light to slightly head-heavy
Heavier than power racquets
250 square centimetre head
Appeals to intermediate players who value more flexibility when hitting balls
Used by professional and high-calibre amateurs
Lower power racquet for players who produce their own power
Standard or extended length
Heaviest racquet with smallest heads
While the three categories provide tennis players with a good starting point, remember that many players change categories as their games evolve or when they need to improve their power or control games. This means that novice tennis players should become familiar with each racquet category, even if they purchase a power racquet to compensate for their lack of serve and return speeds.
Tennis Racquet Features
Selecting a used tennis racquet involves deciding upon the specifications for each of the numerous features. From grip capability to string arrangement, used tennis racquet buyers should prioritise the features in terms of importance. The following descriptions provide a broad overview of each feature. Tennis racquet categories define the specifications for each feature.
Power directly correlates to head size, as well as provides players with a larger hitting area. Contemporary tennis racquet head sizes can measure anywhere between 200 and 350 square centimetres. Smaller head sizes appeal to more accomplished players who want more control of the ball speed and direction.
Racquet length typically measures between 68 and 75 cm, with new racquets being longer. Longer racquets provide users with additional reach on ground strokes, increased serve leverage, and slightly more power. Most of the longer racquets are lighter in weight to provide more player flexibility in shot selection.
Heavier tennis racquets produce more power and stability, as well as transmit less feedback than lighter racquets. On the other hand, lighter racquets provide players with increased manoeuverability and quicker swing releases. Some tennis professionals claim that by swinging the lighter racquets faster, they can exert as much power as heavier racquets that do move as fast during the downswing.
Tennis players must not only consider the racquet weight, they also must understand how the weight distributes across the racquet. Heavier, head-light racquets provide more manoeuvrability for players who want more control and generate most of the racquet's power. Lightweight, head-heavy racquets increase swing flexibility on groundstrokes, without sacrificing much power.
Racquets that possess stiff frames bend less, which depletes less energy from a struck ball. Frames that are more flexible create substantial energy loss to tennis balls, which decreases serving power. While it appears that stiff frames provide the most player benefits, players must be aware of potential wrist, elbow, and shoulder injuries that derive from repeated use of racquets that have stiff frames.
Many recreational players overlook the importance of string patterns. Open string patterns possess greater deflection capabilities than denser string patterns, which produces greater ball rebound from the racquet. Accomplished players prefer open string patterns to give them more spin control. The downside of open string patterns is that because of the spacing, the strings are more susceptible to breaking.
Many tennis racquet manufacturers incorporate shock dampening grip systems to reduce the vibrations that can eventually injure hands and wrists. However, the most important elements of tennis racquet grip design include stability and comfort. Tennis racquet grips range in size between 10 and 12 cm. Follow an old tennis racquet rule of thumb: players should be able to touch the tips of their thumbs to the top knuckle on the middle finger.
Graphite overwhelmingly represents the most preferred material to construct tennis racquets. The material should be one of the first considerations for anyone who wants to buy a used tennis racquet. Players enjoy the lightweight construction that provides above average strength and shot power. Aluminium and fibreglass are the two traditional materials used to make tennis racquets, and both materials are found in older racquets. Tennis racquet manufacturers, such as Wilson and Head, have experimented with Boran and Kelvar, which are lighter and provide more stiffness than graphite.
Sources for Buying a Used Tennis Racquet
Most of the demand for used tennis racquets come from first-time players who are not sure if the sport matches their athletic prowess. Some experienced players buy used racquets for practice sessions. However, another factor has increased the demand for used tennis racquets. Tough economic times have forced many players to downsize their tennis equipment budgets. Regardless of the reason for buying a used tennis racquet, consumers have several sources to choose the right racquet.
Sporting Goods Shops
Most sporting goods shops offer barely used racquets at generous discounts. This occurs because shoppers sometimes return racquets for a number of reasons. Sporting goods shops also allow buyers to discern the differences between new and used racquets. Moreover, highly trained sales professionals provide expert advice for players of all skill levels. Some sporting goods shops allow buyers to test a racquet or two before making a purchasing decision.
Friends and family may offer hand-me-down racquets, but buying from this source can cause a few problems. Secondhand racquets tend to have some type of structural issue, with the strings and frame providing the most trouble. While family and friends do not try to sell faulty racquets, they do not know the telltale signs of wear and tear.
Shopping online for a tennis racquet prevents buyers from handling the racquet to determine frame stiffness, string strength, and flexibility. However, tennis players can find the best deals for used racquets online. Make sure any seller under consideration posts a photograph of the racquet and provides information about the racquet's features, how long it has been used, and in which type of competition. More accomplished players know how to take care of their racquets. Any player who considers going online should make eBay their first shopping stop.
How to Buy a Used Tennis Racquet on eBay
Common sense dictates that finding the right used tennis racquet seller on eBay only requires you to type "used tennis racquet" into eBay's powerful search engine. However, the number of search results take too long to cull, and hence, your best strategy is to specify the search terms to reduce the results. For example, search for a used racquet by brand. Type "vintage used tennis racquets" or "Dunlop used racquets" into the search engine. After receiving the results, the next step involves vetting each seller candidate until you find the seller who matches your buying criteria. The best way to analyse each candidate is to review the customer feedback that eBay compiles on each seller's product page. Search for positive feedback for sellers who offer health and fitness products.
Australians who want to follow in the immortal footsteps of greats, such as Rod Laver, learn the game of tennis by spending time on the court practising serves, net lobs, and volleys. Beginners have the option to learn tennis by purchasing a used racquet from one of the three major tennis racquet categories. Experienced players also buy used racquets for practice only. Regardless of the skill level, tennis players must consider features, such as racquet weight, length, string arrangement, and grip, before they make buying decisions. Perhaps no other feature is as important as the material used to construct a tennis racquet. Once the category and features have been considered, tennis players then begin their search for used racquets from several potential sources, the most convenient and possibly most affordable source being eBay.