Tennis racquets need to be selected very carefully because the wrong choice results in injuries to wrists, elbows, and shoulders, and strains the fingers as well.
The game requires racquet’s head to come in contact with the ball. It would seem natural then that the probability of ball meeting the head of the racquet increases with racquets that have a larger head. But reach may become an issue, as can the weight and power.
Which racquet is best suited for the tennis game for the specific player is governed by rules of physics. Also, note that larger head does not necessarily mean heavy head.
Types Of Head Tennis Racquets
Basically, tennis racquets differ in sizes and the weights of racquet’s head, and handle, apart from racquet’s stiffness or flexibility.
The overall length of the tennis racquet is usually from 27 inches to 28 inches.
Most people prefer 27 inches long racquets. There are people who use tennis racquets that are 29 inches in length.
Head sizes in regular tennis racquets range between 106 square inches and 118 square inches.
The tennis racquets that are 118 square inches in head size and above, qualify as large head tennis racquets. Some may even have heads as large as 135 square inches.
The range of smaller head tennis racquets begins from 85 square inches.
Most players, however, prefer tennis racquets with 100 square inches or so. The weight of these racquets may vary between 8 ounces to 10 ounces.
Where flexibility or stiffness is concerned, tennis racquets are stiffer compared to some of the racquets used in other games such as badminton.
Such stiffness is needed for pushing the heavier ball away. On the scale of flexibility or stiffness, these racquets may be flexible in the range of 45 to 75.
The buyer needs to find a tennis racquet that does not strain his or her arms, elbows, and wrists, and yet offers perfect control and/or power as needed.
Construction of the racquet contributes towards such control, bouncing, swing, and power.Read more about different racquets here
In general, tennis racquets can be:
- a. Balanced, i.e., well-balanced in terms of height and weight of the racquet’s head and handle;
b. Control racquets, i.e., the head of the racquet is small. They are heavyweight. These racquets offer more control to the player.
c. Power racquets, i.e., the head of the racquet is large. They are lightweight. These racquets are suitable for new players.
Head-light v/s head-heavy
The head-light (the control racquet):
Racquets that have small head size, i.e., 94 square inches or less, offer more control on shots.
Control goes hand in hand with spin. Casualty is power, which can be increased by increasing flexibility or increasing beam widths of the heads.
Stability too might be a suspect. Therefore, these are better for a net game rather than baseline game.
Contrary to expectations, racquets with smaller head size (also known as the control racquets) are usually heavier and could weigh almost 11 ounces.
Lower weight helps in adding power in their swing. String patterns are dense in the heads of these racquets which offer more control of the ball.
The head-heavy Racquet (the power racquet):
Racquets that have large head sizes, especially those with 120 square inches and above, are suitable for the power game. Such racquets also offer more stability.
However, tennis racquets with large head sizes can adversely affect maneuverability.
One of the advantages of these racquets is that probability of missing hits is lower.
These racquets are better suited for rallying and do not require much effort for hitting in deep.
The head-heavy racquet is high swing weight racquet, which stresses arm muscles and reduces speed.
But if other variables are almost uniform, then increasing the mass may actually increase the speed.
The arm would also be protected from impact shocks during “serve and volley”, which is unlikely if the head is light. The player may also be naturally prevented from swinging unnecessarily because of the weight.
Large beam and widths of the heads in these racquets also increase their power.
Long racquets with heavy heads, i.e., heads of 100 square inches and above, can generate additional torque when the racquet is swung.
Stringing is done loosely in power racquets.
Spin and placement are, however, not as easy with such power racquets as ensuring that the ball travels over the net.
But these racquets not only increase the probability of finding the ball but also increase the speed at which it leaves the racquet.
Accuracy is also considerably more with these racquets.
Racquets can twist if there is any off center impact by incoming ball.
This problem comes down drastically if the racquet has a large head.
Buying a suitable tennis racquet depends on many factors, such as comfort level with a specific weight.
But basically, the main idea is to find the proper balance between power and control.
New players would be better off with head-heavy.
Beginners would also be looking at lightweight racquets and progress from there to head-heavy racquets.
Choosing a proper tennis racquet enables the players to optimally utilize their skills in the game of tennis.Im curious to know how you choose the perfect tennis racquet,leave me a message below.