- James Park, PT, DPT
Tips for Tennis Racquet Selection
Updated: Mar 25, 2021
With spring upon us, tennis becomes a popular sport (one of my favorites) that many people take up outdoors. Given the current situation that we’re facing, it’s an excellent option to get out of the confines of your house, move and have fun solo or with the family. A huge perk is that your hitting partner is on the opposite side of the court or far enough on the same side, which is well beyond the recommended 6-foot social distance.
It is also a sport where equipment selection is important. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, using a poorly matched racquet can increase the risk of wrist, elbow and shoulder injuries. Spoken from someone who has gone through a handful of racquet changes over the past few years, picking the right tennis racquet can become a very lengthy process. There are certain racquet specifications that are important to be mindful of during the demo and selection process. Static Weight: weight of tennis racquet measured in oz or grams on a scale, typically referenced to as strung or unstrung weight (racquet without strings). Swingweight: measure of how heavy a tennis racquet feels when swinging to hit a ball, which is a function of static weight combined with the balance or distribution of weight. Increases as the weight of racquet is shifted towards the head and decreases when shifted towards the handle. Balance: racquet’s center of gravity/location along the length of a frame where it balances horizontally. Point system used for calculation based on every 1/8” from the center of the racquet towards the handle. With head light racquets, the weight of the racquet is greater toward the handle and is a common balance among heavier tennis racquets, which helps players maneuver them.
Tips for Racquet Selection: 1. Demo several different tennis racquets from local racquet club or PGA Superstore to find which feels the most comfortable and best for swinging. 2. Try to spend at least a week of hitting with each racquet to get a good idea of what balance, static and swingweight range you prefer.
3. Pay attention to any lingering soreness or pain in the wrist, elbow or shoulder as there are different levels of stiffness for each racquet.
4. There are other variables such as head size and shape, string type and string pattern, which can be considered at a later time.