Getting the right racquet for your grip size, age, gender and game level can mean the difference between an ace or disgrace on the court. Follow these tips so you can smash it!
Try to find a racquet that feels comfortable, because if you feel comfortable holding it, you will be more confident in your game.
Grip size is one of the most important factors for choosing your racquet. If you’re not sure what your correct size is, hold the racquet with your tennis hand – you should have about a finger’s width distance between the tips of your fingers and the base of your palm.
If your grip is too small, you will require more muscle strength to keep the racquet from twisting in your hand. A grip that’s too large inhibits wrist snap on serves, makes changing grips more difficult and also requires more muscle strength. The wrong grip can also cause tennis elbow problems later on.
When you choose a racquet for a child, you have to be very careful not to choose something that could cause them injury. Adult racquets are typically way too heavy for kids. Smaller racquets come in various lengths and weights, so factor in things like your child’s height and strength when choosing the right one for them. Also:
- go for grip size 1 (4 1/8 inches) if your child is very small to small, or grip size 2 (4 1/4 inches), for the average child.
- choose the right length. The following chart outlines the approximate racquet length appropriate for kids of a certain age and height, which should get you pointed in the right direction. To measure your child, have them stand nice and tall, then place the tennis racquet you have selected next to their side with the head resting on the ground and the butt end of the racquet handle pointing upwards. Next, have your child place the palm of their hand on the butt cap of the tennis racquet (the bottom of the handle) like a cane. If your child’s arm is comfortably extended and resting on the butt cap of the tennis racquet, then you’ve likely found the right length racquet.
Choose a tennis racquet with relatively large head-size, which has a big sweet spot – you’ll have better luck getting the ball across the net. Also, consider the following.
- Women and older players should aim for a lighter racquet between 150 and 180 grams, while men should look at racquets weighing between 170 and 200 grams.
- Go for grip size 2 (4 1/4 inches) if you are a woman with small hands. Grip size 3 (4 3/8 inches) is suitable for men and women, depending on hand size, and grip size 4 (4.5 inches) is ideal for large hands.
MORE EXPERIENCED ADULTS
The aim is to choose a racquet that will help you perfect your game. So, adopt the following.
- Go for grip size 2 (4 1/4 inches) for women with small hands. Grip size 3 (4 3/8 inches) is the average size for men and women, depending on hand size, and grip size 4 (4.5 inches) is ideal for large hands.
- Choose a tennis racquet with a smaller head size so it gives you more control.
- Look for a tennis racquet with firmer, polyester strings such as Babolat RPM Blast, Luxilon Big Banger, Luxilon 4G and Volkl Cyclone. These strings are suitable for players who have a fast swing and can generate their own pace. Being firmer does mean they are harder on the arm, so if you have elbow or shoulder problems, you might want to try softer synthetic strings.
How much should you spend?
A tennis racquet in the $50–150 price range is suitable for those who play every few weeks. Note that it may not be entirely made of graphite or contain dampening features. More serious/more frequent players are best to look at racquets priced more than $150, for better quality.
Do you have any other tips for choosing the right tennis racquet for your game? Let us know in the comments below…