Which Tennis Racquet Is Right for Me?

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Which Tennis Racquet Is Right for Me?

It is crucial for both beginners and professional tennis players to find equipment that is best suited to their playing style. The tennis racquet is the main piece of equipment that affects how a player swings, hits the ball, and how the ball reacts to the impact. The racquet can be a huge determining factor in the performance of a player. Picking one out is not as simple as just purchasing a generic one from a local shop. Racquets come in so many varieties that it is possible to find one that is tailored to the needs of the player, but it is difficult to figure out what those needs are. For example, there are titanium, graphite, plastic, and metal rackets along with heads of different sizes and various string patterns to choose from. However, as long as buyers know the basics about the kind of options they have available, they can make an informed decision on which racquet is best for them.

Choose the Tennis Racquet Specifications

Tennis racquets are more complex than just a frame and strings. There are literally hundreds of variations that a racquet can have between the head size, grip, balance, weight, materials, and design. Each of these things must be factored into the equation when selecting a racquet.

The Racquet Head

Racquets can come with several head sizes and how large or small it is has an impact on performance. The larger heads have more surface area to hit the ball with, but they are heavier to hold and swing. Smaller heads are lightweight and allow for precision hitting, but they require more experience to use. Racquets range in size from around 567 to 716 square centimetres and they are classified as midsize, midplus, and oversized.

Racquet Head Size

Square Centimetres

Midsize

600 or less

Midplus

612 - 658

Oversized

Above 677

Choosing the head size is fairly straightforward because shoppers can select the size that matches their skill level. Beginners are best with the larger heads and professionals usually prefer the small heads. The size is important not only because it affects the weight of the racquet, but also because it changes the dynamics of the ball. The racquet's strings work in a similar way to a trampoline. On a larger trampoline, people sink lower into the centre of the trampoline before being bounced back up. Because of this, they can jump fairly high. Smaller trampolines are more stiff and don't allow people to jump very high. In the same way, the strings are less flexible on a smaller racquet frame than they are on a large one.

Because of these dynamics, a large frame can hit the ball farther due to the extra give in the strings. However, since the racquet is also heavier, people do not usually hit as hard with them as they would with a lighter racquet.

The Grip

The grip is the part on the handle that players hold onto. Usually it is made out of a rubber material that minimises slippage. The main thing to look for is to make sure that the grip is wide enough for the dominate hand. Other than that, how it feels is a matter of comfort and personal preference.

Balance and Weight

The average racquets range between 226 grams and 340 grams. The perfect weight for the player depends on their arm strength and how they usually hit the ball. Some people put a lot of power into each swing, so a heavier one actually works best for them, while others need a lighter one that allows them to swing harder. However, also consider that heavier racquets can hit the ball farther than the lightweight ones can. The materials and size of the racket determine how much it weighs. Most lightweight rackets are made out alloys or synthetic materials such as carbon fibre.

Frames also vary in length. A longer stem is a good choice for players who want a longer reach, but a short stem takes some of the weight off. It is best to practice with a few different shapes to decide which one works best. In general, shorter players prefer longer stems and tall players opt for the short stems.

String Patterns

The string pattern on a racquet consists of a number of vertical strings, also called "mains", and horizontal strings, called "crosses". The more strings that the racquet has, the more dense the pattern is. A dense pattern gives the player more control over the direction of the ball, while a less dense pattern gives a player more power because the ball is projected with more force.

String Pattern

Mains and Crosses

Closed

18 mains x 20 crosses

Medium

16 mains x 19 crosses

Open

16 mains x 18 crosses

The string pattern also affects how the tennis ball spins after being hit. A looser pattern grabs onto the ball more and put more spin on it. Putting spin on a tennis ball can be a good or bad thing. For beginners, it is usually a bad thing because it is harder to control where the ball goes.

Racquet Power Levels

Racquets are often classified by their power level. The size of the head, string pattern, and flexibility of the frame all determine the power rating. Most inexpensive racquets fall into the intermediate, also called tweener, range.

Racquet Power Level

Description

Weight (g)

Characteristics

Control Racquet

Best used by players who typically swing long and fast; doesn't have a lot of power, so the majority of the energy behind the ball is determined by the player; the most accurate type in terms of stability and control; best used by those who are proficient in the sport

Above 315

Has a small head, a varied string pattern, and a thin frame

Power Racquet

The most powerful racquets to use; compliment a player who naturally swings more slowly

225 - 270

Has a larger head, an open string pattern, and a wider frame

Tweener Racquet

For intermediate players who want both power and control; work best with medium swing speeds; often used by beginners who are unsure of how they swing

270 - 310

Has a medium head, a varied string pattern, and a medium sized frame width

Those who are unsure of what to get may benefit most by getting a tweener racquet first and then deciding later if they need to switch to another power level.

How to Find the Right Tennis Racquet for You on eBay

After you have determined what kind of specifications would work best with your playing style, you can begin shopping on eBay to find one that best meets your requirements. To do this, type "tennis racquet" into the eBay search bar. You can then narrow down the list a little by entering some parameters such as your price range, your prefered brand, and whether you want a new or used one. If you are on the hunt for the lowest price possible, you can also sort the listings so that the cheapest ones appear at the top of the page. Keep in mind that the lower priced racquets usually come in one standard size and there may not be any information about their weight or anything else. It also may be a good idea to check out the eBay Deals section to see if there are any good deals on tennis racquets for the day.

Conclusion

A new tennis racquet can greatly alter how a player performs during the game. Changing the weight, shape, string pattern, and frame size, affects the direction and distance of the ball. Since players need to have a good idea of how they swing in order to pick the best racquet for them, it may be advisable to start with a generic racquet until they get a better idea of what they need. Then they can go shopping for a racquet that enhances their specific performance style. Choosing a more custom racquet may cost more, but it could be worth it in the end to have one that works with the player instead of against them. Shopping on eBay makes the buying experience easy and convenient, without the hassle of leaving one's home.

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