Gaming, Recreation and Sports

Beginners guide to buying a tennis racquet 

Introduction

There may be several reasons why a person would like to take up tennis as a sport. Be it a new pastime or you naturally have a liking for the game and would like to take it up. As with any venture, the tools you possess ultimately define your success rate. This is also the case in tennis. The right racquet will not only improve your game but will make you enjoy the game better. There are a large number and types of rackets to choose from in the market and this guide aims to show the best choice for beginner tennis racket.

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What is a tennis racquet?

It is a handheld implement with intertwined strings on an open frame used to hit the tennis ball.

10 tips on how to buy a tennis racquet for a beginner

Head size

This should be the first consideration you take into account before buying any racket. The head is the part of the racket on which the strings are put in place. For a beginner, the best head size should be big and around 100 square inches. A large head size provides a large surface area effectively increasing the ‘sweet spot’ (Center of the racket). This is where you want to be hitting the ball from. A large head size improves the margin of error while providing a better topspin for the ball. Though there is reduced maneuverability.

Beamwidth

This is that triangular bit right under the head of the racket. A smaller and thinner frame provides less power while a bigger wider frame produces more power and stability. This is best suited for beginners. Width of around 22 to 28 millimeters is ideal for those just starting.

Length

A standard racket is around 27 inches long. As a beginner, you could use this or a slightly longer one as the loner the racket the more power it generates because it creates more mechanical advantage. You can reach and serve at greater distances with a longer racket, but expect a reduction in aim and control. Look for a racket around 28 inches long if you are new to the game.

Frame stiffness

When a ball hits the racket, the stiffer the racket means that it will not buckle and absorb impact but conserve the energy. You can return the ball with a minimum disposition of energy, but you should also take note that if it is stiff there is a low margin of error and you may have to absorb the shock with your hand.

String pattern

If you take a close look at the string pattern, you notice that some have close strings while others have strings spaced widely apart. The open string pattern or strings that are far away, provides for more spin but tend to break. Dense string patterns or those close together have more control over the ball and should be the immediate choice for beginners.

Weight

This is another important characteristic you have to know before you buy a tennis racket. As a beginner, look for a light racket about 9 oz. It is easier to handle and maneuver with it round the court, as compared to a much heavier racket. The player gets less fatigued over time and can play the game without much strain. Look for a racket that is light at the handle and top-heavy as this provides for better control.

Material

Look for rackets made out of aluminum or graphite because they are light and comfortable to use. The material also dictates the price of the rackets. Boron, titanium, and carbon fiber may be lighter but more expensive. Generally, look for a light racket that you are at ease using.

Grip size

You should first get to know your grip size. Do this by measuring the distance between the middle of your palm and the tip of the middle finger. A general rule of thumb is once you’ve gripped the handle, make sure that the index finger of your other hand can pass through the gap between the other fingers and your palm. If in doubt on what to choose, pick a racket with a smaller grip size as you could always add overgrip tape which is easily replaceable as compared to a large handle, there is no way to reduce the grip size.

Flexibility of racquet

This is how far the racket bends as it hits the ball. It usually scales from 0 to 100 with 100 being rigid. The larger the number the more the power and less of control and the lower the number the more the spin and control but reduced power. The rating on most rackets is around 45 to 70, so choose those closer to 65 or 70 for a beginner.

Know different racquets

You should get to familiarise yourself with the different types of rackets to pick the best one that suits your playing style.

  • Power rackets – this is the long, large-headed, and light racket that provides more power when striking the ball.
  • Control rackets- this is the small-headed type used for more control and less power. It is mostly for experienced users who can alter the power themselves and would like to dictate how the ball goes.
  • Tweener rackets- these fall in between power and control rackets as it provides an intermediate of both control and power.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which tennis racquet is best for beginners?

Power rackets are the best choice for beginners. They have a large head, are lighter, and provide more power when hitting the ball. You could grow into the other types as you get a hang of the game.

What size of tennis racquet do I need?

This will be dictated by your grip size and level of expertise. As a beginner, those rackets with a big head are mostly advised. The standard 27-inch racket will suffice for most people but a longer one could prove more useful for beginners.

How much does a good tennis racquet cost?

Durable and effective tennis rackets will set you back somewhere from around $30 to $70. But depending on the type of materials used in its manufacture, it could go up to $100 for a top-of-the-range racket.

What weight tennis racquet should I use?

A light or heavy tennis racket has different perks. A lighter racket is easier to maneuver with and is less strenuous while playing. On the other hand, a heavy rocket boasts of better power but it ultimately leads to fatigue quicker. Look for a well-balanced racket with the top slightly heavier if you’re a beginner.

Is a lighter or heavier tennis racquet better?

It depends on what you’re going for. If it is maneuverability and control, then go for a light racket. But if it is the power you want, a heavier racket will do the job better.

Is a heavier tennis racquet better?

A heavier racket provides for more power but if you are new to the game you’ll find a heavier racket much harder to use. For this reason, a lighter racket is recommended for beginners. Move on to slightly heavier rockets when you understand the game better.

Conclusion

As you grow in the game of tennis, you get to know your preferences better and understand what works best for you in certain situations. Don’t be afraid to experiment on the different types of rackets to find one which most suits you.

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