Choosing a tennis racquet is partly a matter of personal preference and partly dependent on the skill level of the player. Some players want racquets that will allow them to hit the ball as hard as possible, in order to gain a competitive edge in tournaments. Others prefer racquets that allow for more subtle variations in play and accuracy. Fortunately, a range of new and used tennis racquets can be found through online retailers. Buying a used model makes a lot of sense for players who are experimenting with a new type of racquet.
Tennis Racquet Materials
Before selecting a particular type of racquet, it is a good idea to learn about the various materials tennis equipment manufacturers use to produce them.
Wooden Tennis Racquets
Wood was the most common material used for tennis racquets throughout the 20th century. Many professional players used wooden racquets up until the early 1980s. Maple, bamboo, and ash have all been used for the construction of racquets because these woods offer the right degree of durability, flexibility, and strength. These days, man-made materials are much more common (usually because they are lighter), but wooden tennis racquets still offer a fun playing experience, as well as a bit of nostalgia.
Graphite Tennis Racquets
This super lightweight material creates increased head stability, which leads to better performance, especially when the racquet is used for serving or hitting winners. Graphite or carbon fibre racquets are ideal for professional and club players who will need to hold their racquet for hours at end. Because of the racquet’s great strength, it provides a very high level of string tension, which is ideal for big hitters.
Metal Tennis Racquets
Materials like tungsten and titanium are often used in the manufacturing of tennis racquets. Like graphite, they allow for high string tension, and the two material types are often used in combinations together. These particular metals are chosen because they are lightweight, but they can become deformed if dropped or bashed into the ground. Aluminium is a stronger metal that tends to be more durable, but racquets made from aluminum are heavier than those made of other materials.
Tennis Racquet Types
Manufacturers offer a variety of tennis racquets, and each offers various types of racquets to appeal to all types of players. Don’t be tempted to buy the top-of-the-line model. Instead, players should select racquets that will help them develop their skills, or ones that suit their individual playing styles.
Tennis racquets that are designed for more power tend to be made from a lightweight material that can be handled easily. They are easily recognisable because the shaft (the part of the racquet between the butt and the head) is longer than usual. However, this characteristic can mean that it takes a while to adjust to the racquet, especially when trying to hit the ball in the middle of the strings to achieve maximum power. On the other hand, power racquets also tend to have larger heads, which means they can be a bit more forgiving. They can be a perfect choice for beginners who don’t need to adjust to the larger size. These racquets also have very stiff frames, which means that less power is absorbed when the ball is struck and, as a result, more goes into the shot.
High Control Racquets
At the professional level, tennis has become mostly about power. However, precision players who play recreationally often prefer racquets that allow more control. High control racquets have smaller shafts and heads. They also often have softer grips over the handle which makes them a bit more comfortable to hold. Ideal for people who like to place the ball with accuracy or those who want to develop their ability to put spin on the ball, High Control racquets can help intermediate-level players improve and win matches they might otherwise lose. However, because they rely on the player to generate power through arm speed, these racquets can be a bit more tiring to use over extended periods of time.
Also known as “in-betweener” racquets, mid-sized ones are designed to offer the best of both worlds. They are fitted with mid-sized heads and shafts. These sorts of racquets tend to be favoured by recreational players who only play the game once in a while for fun and are not aiming to improve their games, either in terms of ball placement or power. Offering the greatest degree of flexibility, they are also ideal for children and teenagers who are learning how to play the sport and have not yet established their playing style.