Discover How to Choose the Best Tennis Racquet
The task of picking the best tennis racquet could sound like complicated, but it is fact really simple. Sports aren’t all that complicated from an outside-looking-in standpoint. Most often, what we wonder about a sport is how one would score and/or win. At our most cerebral, we might even consider the rules. When it comes to a certain activity though, there can be just some complicated matters to think about.
Tennis is an inherently detail oriented sport. Still, tennis players don’t obsess over the same details as, for example, soccer players. This is an individualistic sport – once the match starts, you’re on your own. Consequently, it’s all about getting things right with yourself as an athlete. Everything boils down to an individual tennis player’s preference.
One such often discussed detail is whether or not you’re using the best tennis racquet.
From those of us who are just getting started with this sport to the advanced players, this process can prove to be tricky. To know which would be the best tennis racquet for you involves multiple personal considerations. As a digestible way of understanding the process, we’ve broken the main points down into three key factors: weight, string pattern, and head size.
The weight of a tennis racquet is crucial in more ways than one. First, the overall weight is a huge deciding factor in picking out the best tennis racquet. The lighter weight options come with an easier swing. Essentially, the lighter the tennis racquet, the easier it is to swing it for a clean hit. Generally speaking, this class of racquet comes in at a weight of around 1.5 ounces or less.
Along the middle range here is a category of rackets that weigh in at no more than 11.6 ounces. The heavier racquets often weigh more than 10.5 ounces.
While the heavier variety offers a slower swing, it does make for more control through your striking motion. The midrange weight is a great balance of both the lighter speed-swinging type and the heavier control-oriented racquets.
Another consideration relating to weight is how it’s distributed. Part of picking the best tennis racquet for your game is knowing if your selection carries more weight on the head or the handle. This concept, known as balance, helps to identify which racquets are easier to swing with. The more head-heavy variety is much more difficult to swing than the lighter-head options.
String patterns come in numerous measurements, with some of the best tennis racquets out there offering a good selection. This term refers to the pattern in which the strings on the racquet’s head are strung. This may seem like just an aesthetic decision, but it’s much more critical.
String patterns decide what sort of hitting you’ll be doing. Choosing the best tennis racquet for you, therefore, means knowing what sort of string pattern you’re looking for.
The most standard measurements are 16 x 19 and 18 x 20. The former features less surface area to make contact with the ball, which means more spin on your serve. The latter is the opposite, using more surface area to give you more control on strikes at the ball.
Simply put, this refers to the size of the racquet’s head. It’s often mistakenly thought by beginners that tennis racquet sizes work in the same way that basketball sizes do. On the contrary, a single match can be played with several head sizes used by numerous players.
The size options here range from the smaller 80 sq. inches to the more grandiose 130 sq. inches. The best tennis racquet for your particular game may require a bigger sweet spot – the point of the head that provides the most impact on the ball. For that, the bigger head size would work best.
A smaller head size is a great option for slightly more control over where the ball goes, including tight angles towards the corners.
What is the Best Tennis Racquet Brand?
As you can imagine, this is quite a tricky question to take on. Generally speaking, ranking the best tennis racquet brand involves a bit of subjectivity. These instruments have gotten so thoroughly researched and developed over the years that it’s often difficult to distinguish between the values of some of these top brands.
Having said that, the best tennis racquet brands all come with a sense of variety and advanced design. The best way to think about an overall ranking of number one in this sense is to ask some simple questions. Is there a wealth of choices for players of all levels? Do this brand’s racquets come with a certain leaning or are they more balanced?
For most players, regardless of level in the sport, the answer you’ll get for the best tennis racquet brand is Wilson. This brand ticks pretty much every box you can think of as a consumer. There are plenty of racquet styles, weights, and sizes. Wilson also comes with an excitement factor in terms of the spin most of its racquets provide on hits. The biggest names in the sport love Wilson racquets. The list just goes on.
Although it’s widely accepted as the best tennis racquet brand available, there are some staunch competitors – more on this later when we rank the brands.
What is the Best Tennis Racquet for Beginners
When starting out in tennis, beginners tend to favor the racquets that allow them to hit faster and with a little more pop. However, it’s worth considering that these characteristics can often clash.
Hitting with power does depend on what racquet you use, but not in the way you might think. A heavier racquet might seem like the best option for more powerful swings, but that’s not the case if you have power in your arms already. If you’re a stronger player anyway, you’ll want a lighter racquet as the heavier ones will absorb much of your natural strength.
The lighter racquets are great for beginners that are just starting to develop some sort of arm strength. They swing nicely through your motion and provide little if any resistance. Additionally, the lighter options are usually more exciting as they offer more opportunities to add interesting spins!
For head size considerations, beginners will find the best tennis racquet in those that have bigger heads. These are the sort with the larger sweet spots and are thus easier to get optimal hits with. This means more power and a more satisfying feel when striking the ball.
What is the Best Tennis Racquet for Intermediate Player Levels?
Whereas beginners need racquets that will make up for deficiencies, the best tennis racquets for intermediate players are those that are a bit more minimalist. More specifically, intermediate players need something that will allow them more control over their swings and ball location.
At this level, you’re not quite winning majors, but you have substantially more confidence and power than someone who is just starting out. As such, the main issue becomes controlling the different swings.
A smaller head size is a great way to make sure this is achieved. The sweet spot on these racquets is a bit more difficult to pinpoint on most occasions, but the decreased surface area means that each hit is more intentionally placed. Combining this with a traditional 16 x 19 string pattern also makes for serious spins. Your volleys and drop shots are going to be flat out unpredictable.
And yet, the 18 x 20 string setup doesn’t hurt intermediate players either. Tightening up the surface area of these strings on a smaller head size only adds a little more power to a control-friendly racquet.
Tennis Racquet Brand Rankings
Most brands offer much of the same sort of options these days. Despite that fact, there are three that stand out as some of the more recognizable examples of the best tennis racquet brands available.
Perhaps the most immediately recognizable purveyor of racquets, Wilson’s reputation is beyond questioning. Their precision tools have been the preference of legendary names such as Roger Federer and Pete Sampras. Many fans of this brand see them as the best tennis racquets available due to their balanced design.
Whether you’re a baseline camper or one to take chances on spins, Wilson has something for everyone.
Another name to keep in mind when looking for the best tennis racquets for your game is Babolat. This company has been in the tennis manufacturing business for as long as most of us can remember. In that time, they’ve developed a knack for conservative racquet design.
Most Babolat racquets will be relatively head-heavy and offer more control on swings. They also provide less dynamic spins than, say, a Wilson racquet. Though not quite as exciting, Babolat’s design is commonly revered for its potent use by more calculating baseline players.
Besides providing some of the best tennis racquet designs available, Prince is also a popular option for beginners. They’re surprisingly widely available and offer something for everyone.
Whether you’re thinking of speedy swings with power or more controlled targets to keep your opponent guessing, Prince has a racquet for you. Their wide range sees a host of tools and equipment for all levels, from amateur to advanced professionals.