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How to choose a tennis racket

Every tennis player has a unique technique and requirements when it comes to their tennis racket. Some like them heavier, some like them with a bigger sweet spot and some opt for a smaller handle.

All this makes choosing a tennis racket a very personal thing. And this is where we come in: we are always happy to advise you whether you are a seasoned player, you are returning to tennis or whether you are just starting.

Here’s what you may need to look for when choosing your tennis racket:

Racket Size

Depending on whether you are a junior or an adult player you will need the appropriate size racket. 

Kids’ tennis rackets range from 17 to 26 inches in length for players between 2 and 12 years old. As a general guideline, the appropriate size racket length for your child is the distance from finger tip to ground when standing upright.

Junior tennis rackets are selected on the basis of age and height.  

Age

Height

Racquet Length

2-3 Yrs

40 in or shorter

17 inches

3-4 Yrs

42 in or shorter

19 inches

4-5 Yrs

42-44 inches

21 inches

6-8 Yrs

45-49 inches

23 inches

9-10 Yrs

50-55 inches

25 inches

10-12 Yrs

55 inches or taller

26 inches

Adult tennis rackets are usually 27’’ and more rarely 27.5’’ in length.

With adult tennis rackets it is more about the weight of the racket, the size of the head and the shape of the frame. So, keep reading J

Grip Size

Again, the grip size of the racket is a personal thing. We have seen ladies play with a big grip and we have seen men play with smaller grips. What we would usually suggest if you are not sure: get a slightly smaller grip because you can always put an overgrip on top to make it slightly bigger.  Making the grip smaller, however, is not an option. Moreover, once you change the original grip it will never be as tight as the one put by a machine.

Here is what the different grip sizes correspond to in inches:

Grip size 0

4 inches

Grip size 1

4 1/8 inches

Grip size 2

4 1/4  inches

Grip size 3

4 3/8 inches

Grip size 4

4 1/2  inches

Grip size 5

4 5/8 inches

As a rule of thumb men would usually go for grip size 3 or 4, while ladies would go for grip size 1 or 2, but this is not an exact science.

So, how do you measure those inches, then? Here’s a picture of where to measure your palm with a ruler and more or less get the size of the grip you might need.

tennis-grip-measurement.jpg

Another way to measure if the grip is more or less good for you is when you are actually holding the racket with the hand you play (right hand when you are right-handed and vice versa). At this point you should be able to stick your index finger of the hand not holding the racquet in between the tip of your middle finger and your palm. If it fits then you’re likely right on the mark.

NOTE: Please bear in mind that neither of these measuring techniques is 100% precise; as we mentioned before you might want to play with a bigger or smaller grip size than recommended.

Weight

Weight is one of the parameters people are most interested in when buying a tennis racket.  In general, a heavier racket gives you more power less torque, and better control. The downside is that they require more muscular strength. Lighter rackets are more manoeuvrable, and also offer more power and spin.

Lighter rackets weigh up to about 270 grams, while heavier ones would weigh about 280 - 300 grams.

Balance

We know we are probably overwhelming you with information here, but another important thing to take into consideration is the balance of the racket. Rackets can be balanced, head heavy, or head light. In theory, a lighter head allows you to whip the racket faster while serving, while a more balanced racket might work better on baseline shots. 

We will stop here, because we don’t want to put you off getting a tennis racket :)

We think the best way to know if a racket is good for you is to actually have a couple of hits with it. If in doubt, you can always contact us on 028 9038 1722 or e-mail us on sales@gottosports.com and we will be happy to answer your questions.