Get in gear: A quick guide to choosing your perfect tennis racquet
Hit the court in high style with a new racquet that lets you take your sport to the next level. No matter if you're gearing up to play tennis, racquetball, squash, pickleball or another racquet-related sport, we've got the goods you need at Every Day Low Prices you'll love. Before you make your selection, check out this quick guide to help narrow down your options and choose the best racquet for your needs.
More than just tennis racquets
While you might most commonly associate racquet sports with tennis, there's a variety of sports that use similar gear. What's the difference? Consider the following quick guide to choosing between tennis racquets, racquetball racquets, squash racquets and pickleball racquets to better understand the nuances:
- Tennis racquets: Among the longer sports racquets, tennis racquets can be up to 29 inches long from tip to tip. They typically feature graphite frames, rubber grips and nylon mesh for the oval face of the racquet. These racquets are designed to hit tennis balls, which are around 2.7 inches in diameter, hollow and covered in fuzzy, fluorescent yellow wool.
- Racquetball racquets: Smaller than tennis racquets, racquetball racquets measure no more than 22 inches from the top to the handle. Racquetballs are also smaller, measuring 2.25 inches in diameter. The shape of a racquetball racquet is more oblong than oval.
- Squash racquets: Squash racquets look very similar to tennis racquets but they're smaller, measuring a little more than 26 inches at most. They're also lighter and typically have heads that look more like inverted triangles than ovals.
- Pickleball racquets: Pickleball is played more like paddleball than tennis. Instead of having a racquet made with strung nylon, pickleball racquets are solid.
Features to note
Picking the right racquet isn't only about choosing one that matches the sport you're playing. You need to choose your racquet according to the features you need.
- Head size: The size of the head, which is the part of the racquet that holds the strings, affects the maneuverability and power behind your swing. Smaller heads offer better control, making them ideal for beginners. Larger heads let you put a little more muscle into your shots.
- The grip: The thickness and size of the handle helps you stay in better control of your swing. It also helps minimize problems like tennis elbow. Choose one that lets you keep about a finger's width of open space between your palm and ring finger.
- Length: While sports associations typically regulate the maximum length of your racquet, you still have a few choices regarding size. Shorter racquets give you more control, while longer racquets often provide extra leverage.
Tips for choosing the right racquet
If you want to achieve success on the court, you need a few things in your back pocket. You need skills, and that's where practice, hard work and determination come into play. You also need the right gear for the game. That's why we've rounded up some great tips to help you choose your ideal racquet.
What's your ability level? Match your racquet to your skill level and you'll never go wrong. Consider the following:
- Beginners should keep things basic with pre-strung, oversized racquets that provide the biggest sweet spot for the most versatility and forgiving play.
- If you've got a little experience on the court, try your hand at playing with small, light racquets for power plays or large racquets designed to provide a little more finesse behind your shots.
- Advanced players should stick with racquets that offer the most power while remaining lightweight.
What's your preferred swing? Everyone has their own style on the court. Understanding yours allows you to choose a racquet that works with you, not against you. For example, if you prefer compact, short strokes, you'd do well with a power racquet. But if you're aggressive with a long swing, you might be better off with a smaller control racquet.
What's your preferred weight? The weight of your racquet has a direct impact on your game. Consider these points:
- Lightweight racquets provide more spin and a faster swing.
- Heavy-weight racquets provide more stability and a better ability to plow through. These racquets also absorb more shock, allowing you to play a more powerful game.
Should you choose a prestrung racquet?
For beginners and recreational players, it's tough to beat the convenience of pre-strung racquets. If you're more advanced or playing in competitions, you might consider opting for an unstrung racquet. This lets you tailor the string according to your style. For example, natural gut provides improved performance, but it's less durable than synthetic string. Synthetics are ideal for recreation, but they don't amp up performance as well. When you string your own racquet, you can also control the gauge, which affects playability and durability, and the tension, which impacts power and control.