When you stand in front of a wall of tennis rackets, looking to acquire your first racket, it can be overwhelming. Each brand has a number of models with different weights, head areas, beam widths, grip sizes etc. Do you choose that one from the Head Graphene Radical range (endorsed by your favourite player Andy Murray – World Number 1!), or should there be more technical reasons behind your choice?
We’ve put together a brief guide to help you choose the right tennis racket, together with our SportStylist recommendations.
More power, more control or something in between?
Each of the values of head area, beam width (the thickness of the triangle under the racket head) and frame stiffness (on a scale of 0 to 100) can be varied to make a tennis racket more or less powerful, have more or less control, or have a balance between power and control:
|+ Power / – Control
||Balanced||+ Control / – Power
|Head area||>660 cm2||630-660 cm2||<630 cm2|
|Beam width||25-28 mm||22-25 mm||<22 mm|
The majority of tennis rackets sold on the market typically fall into one of the three columns shown in the table above.
So which type of tennis racket is right for you?
If you are a beginner, and are not particularly strong or athletic, then a lightweight racket (<270 g) from the first column (so-called lightweight powerful) is a good starting point. If you are an intermediate player that can already give enough power to the ball (perhaps you find that the ball often tends to go out!), and are more interested in spin and placement, then you will probably want to go for a balance of power and control (also called a ‘tweener’ racket). More advanced players will tend to chose ultimate control rackets, given by the characteristics in the last column.
Tweener and ultimate control rackets generally weigh more. Ask your friends to try out their rackets to understand which weight works best for you.
Most women need grip sizes 1, 2 or 3. To check your grip, hold the racket with your forehand grip and you should be able to squeeze the index finger of your opposite hand between the tips of your fingers and your palm. If there is not enough room, you need a larger grip, whereas too much space calls for a smaller grip. If you feel you are in between two sizes, it is generally better to go for a smaller grip and then add some overgrip (such as our favourite overgrip tape from Montreal London).
Lightweight Powerful Rackets
|Babolat Pulsion 102 Adult Beginner Tennis Racket||Wilson Federer Aluminium Tennis Racket|
|Head Graphene Radical REV Tennis Racket||Head Attitude Pro Adult Tennis Racket|
Helen is a fitness and fashion blogger who has just started her journey to becoming a stylish tennis player. At almost 40 years old she decided to take up tennis, and now wants to encourage women of all ages to do the same. Whilst initially restricting her tennis wardrobe to shorts and leggings, she soon realised how great it felt to play in tennis skirts and dresses and she started to discover the world of tennis fashion. Head over to her blog www.40ishlove.com for more tennis motivation and fashion inspiration, and don’t forget to like her on Facebook, or follow her on Instagram and Twitter.